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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I recently purchased a product from a nationwide hardware

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I recently purchased a product from a nationwide hardware chain. It was di-onised water, which is more sterile than distilled water.. it is used for medical purposes, scientific experiments and also for car batteries and irons. My purpose for using it is for flushing out the sinus and nasal passage (for hayfever and allergies). It's a common yoga practice and a Neti Pot (like a little teapot with a long spout) is used to pour the water up the nasal passage. For safety and to ensure no bacteria, you can't use normal tap water , it must be distilled or di-ionised.
Initially when I opened the lid, I noticed the bottle wasn't completely full. In testing the depth of the bottle (it's completely solid colour so you can't see the fluid level) , I realised the depth was down further than the length of my middle finger, at least 7.5cm. I couldn't reach the fluid and as I bought it up to my face to see the depth, I then smelt chemicals. The bottle had been tampered with and contained an acidic liquid which was almost odourless until the bottle came up to my nose. Luckily I smelt it before the product went up my nose, as I'd now be laying inside a box.
I notified the retailer immediately and over the next few days we had a few discussions. They have removed the product from their shelves. They asked for me to return the bottle in packaging they would send. Before I received the packaging, they contacted me again and said due to the acidic contents it couldn't be sent in the mail. Also, another bottle had been located, closer to the manufacturers location and it had been handed in and my bottle wasn't required.
The retailers have said all other contact will now come from the manufacturer and I've heard nothing.
I find it strange that - the manufacturer doesn't want my bottle to confirm the substance.
There has been no contact from the manufacturer, maybe hoping I'll just forget about it?
There has been no offer of compensation from anyone, or even a refund from the retailer.
While I didn't suffer a permanent injury, I do know how corrosive the substance is as I managed to get a tiny bit of residue in a cut on my finger and it was very painful.
The fact that I was inches from a very painful death or extreme injury has shocked me no end. It has also left me feeling rather frightened of actually continuing to use the neti pot.
I'd like to know where I stand in getting a satisfactory resolution from the manufacturer of exactly what happened for the product to be completely tampered with and exceedingly harmful, whether it went into an iron, a battery or my nose.
And honestly, I'm looking for compensation.
Can you please advise?
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.
What is it you want to achieve please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Basically I want to know how the product came to be tampered with.

I also want to know if I'm entitled to any compensation for the fact that I could have either been incredibly injured or died.

Did you suffer any injury?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

apart from a stung finger and a huge shock which lasted days, and an ongoing hesitation to resume using a Neti Pot.

You need to write and set out your losses and request compensation within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
If they do not compensate you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.
The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Is it 14 days from when? the date of the purchase? or is there another date?

And exactly ,what am I claiming? for personal injury (the stung finger) and refund of product (99p)..

or compensation for the potential for injury due to a faulty product and emotional distress.

14 days from when you send the letter. You are claiming for injury and refund of the 99p.
Compensation for injury.
Does that clarify?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So I can't claim for emotional distress and the potential for injury/death.

I can only claim for the 99p, and a stung finger?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

ok, well that's disappointing.. not so much for the financial aspect, but that there's almost no repercussion to the company for producing an exceedingly incorrect product/ incorrectly labelled and potentially liable for major harm.

because I doubt that a stung finger is worth too much.

The claim would be about £500.
So worth pursing.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Alex

So, should I set out a request for a higher sum and be prepared to negotiate?

Yes if you want. That would be good.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you Alex, you have been very helpful.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Do you have any suggestions as to a reasonable amount to claim?

Realistic - £500.
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