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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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We sell bespoke rugs, but do we need something in our terms

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We sell bespoke rugs, but do we need something in our terms for 'off-the-shelf' products?
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
We sell bespoke rugs, but do we need something in our terms for 'off-the-shelf' products?We sell bespokerugs meaning we are under no obligation to provide a refund, as per our current terms and conditions. However, there is currently one section of our website (our hand-knotted designer rugs section) where customers can only *select a set size* of the rug they wish to buy. There is no option to enter bespoke measurements.Because the customer has to 'select a set size' from the drop down menu in this section of our website, will this void our terms and conditions meaning the customer can return the rug even if they don’t like it? If so, to circumnavigate this can we remove the option to select a size and instead have a field where a customer *must manually enter the dimensions of the rug themselves*?

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. Firstly, I need to ask some initial questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
ok

Do you have anything in place in your terms of sale at the moment in relation to this?

If possible please upload a copy of your current terms and conditions so that I may take a look

Customer: replied 9 days ago.
No, our terms have been set up specifically for us to sell bespoke rugs, not ready-made off-the-shelf rugs which are open to being returned. However, the rugs in question, where customers have to select a size from the drop down menu, do not actually go into production until the customer makes a purchase. I don’t know if that would make a difference or not.
Customer: replied 9 days ago.
... here is a link to our terms - https://www.rugcouture.com/terms/

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. Whether the customer selects a size from the drop down menu or enters their measurements, the key is whether the item is custom-made in the end. It is no good giving them a box to enter their own measurements if you limit these to specific sizes and designs so that it is not a unique item but something which anyone else could have easily chosen. To avail; of the no-refund right you have to show that it is a bespoke item altogether, that it is either a unique design or measurement which is not something that can be mass-produced in he circumstances. If it is, then no matter whether the customer enters their own measurements (assuming they are given limited options for that) or it is selected from a drop-down, their rights will be the same and they could get a refund.

 

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you for your response.

Regardless of whether the size of the item is entered manually or selected from a drop down menu, the rug will 100% always be custom made from scratch. Our rugs are hand-made by our master craftsmen at our factory in India. There is no machine made element to the construction of the rug. Even though we are giving customers the opportunity to select a particular *design*, the rug will always be hand-made at our factory. I guess this means it bespoke still?

Does this mean then that we do not need to change anything on our website, or is it best we add some kind of disclaimer to our current terms and conditions or something to this designer section where sizes can only be selected from a drop down menu?

I think we're nearly there now with this one. Thank you for your help. Very much appreciated.

Best wishes

James

Hello James

 

No, just because it is made by hand does not mean it is bespoke. To be bespoke, it means being made to the customer’s own specifications. So if it was a custom size, then it is bespoke, however if it is a standard size with a standard design, even if made by hand, it won’t be bespoke because you can still sell it to another customer who chooses that combination.

 

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