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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10817
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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About 2 months ago I purchased a pair of trainers from

Customer Question

About 2 months ago I purchased a pair of trainers from Sports Direct in Weymouth for about £70. Inside 6 weeks the left shoe was falling apart, the sole was wearing rapidly and coming unstuck. I went back and complained this week, the person I spoke to was totally unhelpful. They were not prepared to even talk about it without the receipt. I am disabled so my walking is limited, but I have never had a pair of shoes wear as fast as these. What can I do and where do I go from here. I am also deaf
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 years ago.

What proof do you have that you purchased the trainers from Sports Direct?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sports Direct is the only firm selling these brand of shoes. I also aid by debit card so they must have a record of the purchase
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 years ago.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 goods have to be fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.

These are not of satisfactory quality otherwise they wouldn’t have fallen apart.

They are fit for purpose because you bought a pair of trainers and they are a pair of trainers.

If you wanted a pair of running shoes and they sold you Wellington boots, then they would not be fit for purpose.

People very often get satisfactory quality and fit for purpose mixed up.

The goods have to be of satisfactory quality for a reasonable period of time and if goods are defective within the first 6 months, there is presumed to be a defect at the time of manufacture. After six months, the burden is on the buyer to prove that the goods were defective at the time of manufacture.

It doesn’t matter whether you have the receipt or not. It does not affect your statutory rights and you are entitled to a refund.

If you paid by credit card and the goods cost more than £100, you can make a claim under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which puts liability onto the credit card company along with the merchant. However you didn’t pay by credit card and they were only £75 so that doesn’t help. You cannot do that with a debit card although you can ask the bank to chargeback a debit card if you hadn’t actually received the goods. That doesn’t help you.

Blanket refusal to refund without a receipt is not uncommon. You are therefore faced, if they steadfastly refuse to refund you, with taking them to the Small Claims Court. All you need to do is prove to the satisfaction of the court that you purchased these from that store and the date you did so. For the purposes of the court, that only this one store chain sells them and that you have the money going through your bank account would be sufficient.

If you issue Small Claims Court proceedings, which you can do easily here , they are likely to just pay up.

Before doing that, you may find that putting a complaint on the company’s Facebook page and on their Twitter, will produce a really quick result. Just make sure there is nothing on there which is anything other than factual and could not be seen as being defamatory. Those postings often work really quickly

Can I clarify anything for you?

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We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Good morning Mr Smith, so are you in fact saying that my only recourse is through the small claims court? I paid around £75 for the trainers and in-soles, which I have never used. Thank you for your help. Life as a disabled and deaf person living alone is not easy, none of it was my choice it just happened, but I feel that a lot of people try to take advantage of my situation. ***** *****
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 years ago.

You may get a result in your favour if you write to their head office to the chief executive personally but if they still won’t refund without a receipt, there is no mechanism except to go to court. With the letter, I would send a copy of your bank statement showing the payment coming out.

Although I understand how you feel about being disabled and people taking advantage of that situation, I think you find here, that it is a simple blanket no refund without receipt policy.

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive so that I get paid for my time. We can still exchange emails if anything crops up.