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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I bought a silver ring (soft metal) shaped like a snake and

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I bought a silver ring (soft metal) shaped like a snake and when I first put it on the tail caught on my jacket and snapped off the tip. The item cost £650! It broke within 3 days of my purchasing it. Do I have right to a refund. The store offered a "credit note" "as an exception and a favour to me as a regular customer"!!

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

How long ago did you buy it? May I also just confirm that this was bought in-store as opposed to online? Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I bought it last week and in-store at Selfridges

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Thanks for your patience. When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The law states that the goods must be:

· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when you receive them;

· as described – they must match any description given to you at the time of purchase; and

· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for,

If they do not match the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Your rights will not be against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible if there was a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee with the goods. Also note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, faults that were pointed out at the time of sale or if you change your mind and no longer want the goods.

So the issue here is what caused the damage – was it your negligence and the fact that you caught it on something which was clearly not how the ring was intended to be used and handled, or was it due to the poor workmanship of the ring or the materials. The good thing is that if it is challenge in court, a useful rule is that if a fault appears within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not meet the statutory requirements at the time of sale. If the retailer disagrees, it is for them to prove that this was not the case. However, if the fault occurs more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that they did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale. This happened within the first 6 months so it is for them to prove it was your fault and not a fault with the ring itself.

This is what you can do next:

1. Reject them and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within 30 days of purchase.

2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods or do not wish to get a refund straight away, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement. If a repair has been arranged but has failed, or if a repair or replacement are not possible, you are still entitled to ask for a refund, or a price reduction. Alternatively you could get a second repair or replacement at no extra cost to you. However, the retailer can refuse if they can show that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative.

As there is still time to reject the goods and request a refund, you may do so. If you are outside of the initial 30 days and are too late to reject them, you can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. You can quote the applicable rights you have under the Consumer Rights Act as mentioned above. If they appear reluctant to assist, write to them one more time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to meet their legal obligations, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for your losses.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have if they refuse to resolve this, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Thank you for that seems clear enough but I need a direct confirmation specific to my question that I am entitled to get a refund should I request it because so far the concession at Selfridges (Chrome Hearts) are saying that their policy is not to refund or replace jewellery and it is stated on their receipt apparently. They say they are making an exception for me by offering me a "credit note". I want to make it clear to them that their are breaching my statutory rights by refusing me a refund. Not only did the ring tip snap off but when I touched the ring to feel the edge the sharp edge sliced into the tip of my finger and caused a painful cut which dripped blood for hours.
Also more worryingly when I spoke to customer services at Selfridges the representative had no clue about my statutory rights and said "you have to go back to the concession (Chrome Hearts) and argue the policy with them. Selfridges customer service did not back up my claim and could not tell me what my rights were.

No you cannot just get a refund - you can only get it if you can shoe one of the three factors I mentioned above applies, namely that the ring was not as described, not fit for purpose or not of satisfactory quality. So you will have to be able to show that it broke off because it was of poor quality for example but they can easily argue that it was not intended to be twisted and bent like this so it was your fault that you caught it something which was not designed for how this ring was to be used...and they would have a point to an extent

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not twist or bend the ring. I merely placed it on my finger the very first time ...later i went to get my keys out of my pocket and the tip of the silver ring caught on my jumper (made of wool not metal or wood or anything hard!!) As I pulled my hand out the fine tip caught and twisted (Silver is a soft metal) and snapped off. A ring is meant to be worn on a finger is it not? and my fingers were going about their normal business - not being banged against the wall or lifting weights or anything like....just getting my keys out of my pocket!! The ring was not fit for purpose! (ie being worn during normal activities)
I signed up for this service with you because I would like a specific answer to the question. I am aware of the standard statutory rights for consumers as Google provides all the info that is needed and I also have a lawyer friend. Please can you give a specific answer.many thanks

a lawyer cannot give you a specific answer on whether the use of your ring makes the item not of satisfactory quality or not fir for purpose - a court decides that, so whatever I tell you, even if I tell you that it is 100% not fit for purpose - a court can decide the complete opposite. The other thing is that you cannot force them to issue a refund, even if you are 100% in the right - you can ask them to do so but they can refuse. So you will then have to go to court to try and pursue this further.

So to give you a specific answer yes you certainly van argue that it was not fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality, but that does not mean you are guaranteed a refund at this stage and as mentioned if you wanted me to I can discuss the next steps you need to follow should a refund not be forthcoming

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok of courseI understand you cannot guarantee anything but given the facts do you feel i have a case to take this to court? In your opinion did this ring perform as it should? And if they are not obliged to issue a refund and can flout my statutory rights (ie a refund if within 30 days the goods prove defective) then effectively the consumer has no rights then? In this case the ring tip had not been reinforced with enough solid silver to perform as a ring...? What are your thoughts please?

ok if it was only caught on a woolly jumper then that is not the same as it being wedged in between something hard so an argument does exist that something made of metal should have been sturdier. As to the statutory rights, they are there but are only as useful as the willingness of the retailer to adhere to them. If they refuse to, then the only way to force them to do so is through court. So no it does not mean they can delay refunding you for 30 days ad then leave you with no rights, i means that after that you can take it further if needed to a third arty for resolution

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
ok many thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi again I do not need any more advice thank you. I understand you have taken out £38 for your advice. I trust there will be no more payments taken.
Many thanks

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