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Vineet S
Vineet S,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 2818
Experience:  Freelance Solicitor at Self Employed
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Can I contact a solicitor in reference to consumer rights?

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Can I contact a solicitor in reference to consumer rights?

Welcome to JA. I’m Vineet, a UK qualified & practicing Solicitor and I will be dealing with your case today.

What is your specific question, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Vineet, I was in contact last week with Ben Jones a solicitor from Just ask in reference to a disagreement between myself as a seller for Ebay and a buyer can you help or should I go back to Ben Jones?

Either you can wait for Ben to answer

Or

If you want you can ask me your specific question

I can assist you with your consumer law query

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have been a seller with Ebay for 5 years and have a 100% positive reviews. On the 22nd May I sold a Tiffany and Co 18 Ct Rose gold bracelet that retails for £1445.00 for £700 and Tiffany and Co sunglasses that retail at £280 for £100 to the same buyer. In my written description with Ebay and my photos I clearly stated the length of the bracelet and showed the full length of the chain bracelet in a photo against a ruler. The items were detached on the 26th May with special tracking Royal Mail post and I paid extra postage to insure the items for the full £800 incase or loss and informed the buyer that I had sent them and the tracking number. The buyer contacted me last week and requested a full £800 refund after 6 days and stated that the bracelet did not fit his wife's wrist and he wanted to return both items and get a full refund. I explained that I was not in agreement as I have a no returns policy with my selling with Ebay and I pointed out that in my written description and photographs I clearly stated the measurements. He responded and said that he did now know his wife's wrist measurement and only knew that the bracelet would not fit once she opened the bracelet. I suggested that he should have got one of her bracelets before purchase to check the length of her wrist size. I also suggested that he could go to Tiffany and Co or any jeweller and get 1 or 2 additional links added at the end of the chain for it to fit. He replied saying that he could not afford to take the bracelet to Tiffany and Co as it would be expensive, I replied saying he could get the additional links put in with any jeweller and that he was in possession of a bracelet for £700 that currently costs £1445 in Tiffany and the sunglasses cost him £100 and they are £280 to buy. Both items were sold to him in excellent condition and with Tiffany packaging. He then said he would open a dispute case with Ebay, I then closed his dispute case and refused his refund. I spent hours last week and eventually spoke to an Ebay representative by telephone and through an online chat with another Ebay representative and both told me that they had looked at all communication and that I was completely in my right to refuse the refund as I had done nothing wrong and they would have done the same and that it appeared that he just wanted his money back as he had changed his mind. This morning I have received a message from the buyer saying that as I have closed his option to return the items that Ebay has informed him that they will reimburse the commission of £100 that I have already paid to Ebay on the 31st may for the sale of these 2 items, I already know this. He has also said that if an agreement for a refund cannot be found then he will instigate legal proceedings through county court which could result in an award of further costs.He has submitted to me documents that will be submitted within 14 days of purchase if no resolution is found. He wants to avoid this and to get his money refunded and send back the items to me. I have not responded to him yet but I was going to suggest that he sells the items on his Ebay account for the same amount of more.
On Friday last week he still went ahead and returned the items to me, I contacted him to say he should not of done this and I sent them back to him on Saturday.
Today he has sent me by post the Claim court firm which he has filled out against me and put the reason for the courts as The refusal to refund payment for goods returned after sale, in accordance with consumer contracts regulations.
He has also asked me to strongly reconsider in his hand written letter and told me ha has put the items on hold at my local post office where I sent them on Saturday for re-delivery to me should I change my mind?
Please can you tell me what should I do now?
Ben informed me that I had done nothing wrong legally and could let this go to a county court and that I had not committed any wrong doing as a private seller with a no returns policy? Thank you Vineet.

Thank you for your reply.

Under the distance selling regulations, seek to protect consumers when they buy goods at a distance from the supplier, such as online purchases. Under that, a buyer has the right to withdraw, free of charge, within 14 working days.

Under the above-mentioned regulation, Customers have the right to cancel a purchase within 14 calendar days of receiving goods. Customer can ask for the refund if the order is cancelled within 14 days of receiving the goods.

Even though you have no refund policy, but the customers have the statutory consumer protection rights under the distance selling regulation. So the customer can ask for the refund if the order is cancelled within the stipulated time period.

The customer can ask for the refund for the cost if it is cancelled within 14 days.

If you need further assistance, please let me know.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Vineet your response is slightly different to the response I received from Ben Jones last week in this matter please see:Thank you. In that case your customer will have relatively limited rights. There are no consumer protection laws that would apply and no automatic right to a return. Ultimately, the only way they can seek a return is if they can show that the item’s description was incorrect or misleading. In this case, it appears that the description was correct but he was the one who had not measured his wife’s wrist so did not know whether it would fit or not. On that basis, he has to take responsibility for this and there is no right to a return or refund.
There is, however nothing stopping him from taking this further and claiming. As this will go to the Small Claims Court, it will not be a high risk venture for you, because even if you lose all you have to do is refund him the amount and you will get the item back. You won’t have to pay his legal costs as each side pays their own. In any evet, I do not see him having a strong case here so you could always take the small risk in defending such a claim.

What the previous expert did not take it into consideration is that it is not a normal sale/in-person sale, it is online sale which comes under the distance selling regulation

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was under the conclusion that the buyer in this case Austin did not have any right to a refund regardless of within 14 days as I as the private seller with Ebay had given a clear written description of the items and the photo clearly described the length of the bracelet.

The customers have extra protections in online sales.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think then from your response it is maybe prudent for me to repay him the money and accept these goods back?

Please go through the below web page for further information on distance selling-

https://www.gov.uk/online-and-distance-selling-for-businesses

"You must tell the customer they can cancel their order up to 14 days after their order is delivered. They don’t need to give a reason for cancelling."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Because if I allow it to go to a county court the court would probably rule in his favour and I would have to pay some costs for this and still have to pay him back the £800?

The last expert failed to acknowledge the fact that it is an online sale and gave a generic answer

If the order is cancelled within the given 14 days of delivery, then the customer can cancel and ask for the full refund

It is advisable to refund the money for the bracelet as he has a statutory consumer right to ask for it.

Please let me know if you need further clarification on the above.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok I understand now as I have never regularly sold items on Ebay it has only been since Lockdown and having a clear out of my things, and I have never been in this situation. So in future when I sell in Ebay even though I have a no returns policy you would advise me to put in writing once the buyer has purchased an item that they have 14 days within which they can return the item and receive a full refund?

This is the customer's statutory right under the distance selling regulations. Even if your return policy is different( does not matter if it is provided on your website or not) as these policies limit the statutory consumer rights, it would be deemed to be unfair and would be non-binding on the consumers.

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