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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75168
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I would like to ask a question with regards to my legal

Customer Question

Good morning. I would like to ask a question with regards ***** ***** legal rights over mis-sold items that were purchased in a store that were also faulty. The store owner is refusing to except a refund. There is a full story to this, but I wanted to check if it's something you are able to advise on before I tell you the full situation. Many thanks in advance, Bianca.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in Bracknell in Berkshire
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have made contact with the owner, literally a couple of hours after purchasing the items. He has not been very accommodating and he will not refund (to be fair, he hasn't said that yet but it was a discussion we had in the store)
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Only that he advised he had other options if what we purchased was not suitable and that I paid in cash, which I appreciate now was a mistake
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

How long ago was this? and please explain the situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Hi Ben
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

Hi there. How long ago was this? and please explain the situation in some more detail

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I'd rather not call at the moment, if that's ok with you
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
can we please continue online for the first part. Maybe I can look at a call another time, depending on if I actually have a leg to stand on first
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
i'm so sorry, I missed your question about about more detail. I will try to keep it short and just stick to key points....
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I visited a store in Southall to purchase some evening wear. I was with my daughter and daughter-in-law. We asked lots of questions to the owner about the garments and what other items they had. As the girls weren't overly keen on the styles he had, he said he had another store which had the style they liked so they were happy to continue. The owner measured us all and we chose our outfits. When we came to pay he said it was cash only and that the Indian shops didn't operate with card etc like the English shops. I know this is quite common in Southall so I got the cash from a bank next door and paid £450 to the owner. Just before he paid he said if there were any problems we could contact him. He did say that they dont do refunds but we can exchange.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK thanks and how long ago was this please?

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I was a little hesitant as it was a lot of money for me, but when he was measuring us he said that he is also a tailor so we would get the correct sizing etc. As soon as we got home we all tried out outfits on. One had a ripped zip area, one was so big it looked awful and the other was so small we couldn't get it over our heads. The designs looked bad too. Anyhow, I contacted the owner straight away and told him of the problems and that when we come back to exchange please could he have the other styles that the girls liked available as he knew their sizes and colour preferences. He did reply and said we could come back and exchange as there was a 28 day exchange policy and that he would be in the store to assist us. I told him I would be there on Saturday as we travelled from a distance and can't do it during the week as we all work. And I mentioned again about having the other options available. He replied and said exchanges are only Monday to Friday and that he didn't have any other options as the other shop belonged to his cousin and that we had to exchange with what he had in his store.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 21 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, usually the same day. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I replied to him saying that this wasn't really very good. Although we purchased the clothes knowing it was exchange only, we purchased them based on the fact that he had other styles should this not be suitable (this is a small store, almost like a market stall in a shopping mall full of the same types of stalls and none of them have changing rooms). I told him that he mis-lead us during the sale saying he had other options when in fact he doesn't - or so he says he doesn't. Also, clearly the quality of his clothes is poor so I really want a refund. He refused again. I told him that I was devestated over this. He knows it was for a black tie even and the three of us wanted to look really nice. I told him that I was even prepared to give him £50 for his "inconvenience" and he only needed to refund £400. He has read the messages but is now not replying.
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
The advice I am after is where can I take this. Surely a verbal agreement has to stand for something. And we purchased based on other items he said he had and purchased thinking we were buying quality items. And now I am stuck with exchangin bad quality for more bad quality as he is refusing to refund
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I appreciate that some of this is my fault. I had a list of retailers to visit in the area which I had printed out on a map so we knew where to go. This store was not on my list and I am kicking myself that we went to him without knowing anything about the store. As soon as this happened we reviewed his store online and the comments have been exactly what we're experiencing. Poor service, rude and aggressive when you want to return items. I believe he does accept returns but people don't push for it as he becomes aggressive - so the reviews say?
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
Believe it or not, this all happened yesterday evening
Customer: replied 21 days ago.
i'm going out of my mind with worry as I can ill afford to lose £450.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation. Also, apologies for the delay in replying – the site has been down for most of today.

If you buy items in-store you do not have the automatic right to a refund and that would only be the case if you can show that the goods not meet the requirements set out by law.

When a private consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

- fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If they do not meet the above requirements, the consumer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Any rights against the manufacturer will only be under a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee that came with the goods, which is entirely separate. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the goods do not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the goods and request a refund – this is known as the ‘short-term right to reject’ and must be applied within 30 days of purchase or, if later, delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this is still an option in the first 30 days, if the consumer does not want a refund and becomes the standard options after the 30 days have passed. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the goods, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with them. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the goods, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Thank you so much for your help Ben. I have sent the store owner a letter and it appears things might be ok at the moment. Thank you again for your time, advice and assistance.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best