QI

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

am or­gan­is­ing a glamp­ing trip for my sis­ter and 10 of our friends for her hen night and I found a great site in Cork. The only catch is the owner is in­sist­ing I pay the to­tal cost of our ac­com­mo­da­tion up­front, di­rectly into her ac­count by bank trans­fer. When I asked her why, she said it is to pro­tect her from “no shows”. She seems le­git and gets good re­views on­line but I’m wary of trans­fer­ring so much cash be­fore we even get there. Do I have any other op­tion? Ni­amh, Bird­hill, Co Tip­per­ary ONCE you trans­fer money from your bank ac­count to an­other, it is gone and you can­not re­verse the trans­fer if you need to. So if you have any is­sues with the glamp­ing site af­ter you ar­rive and th­ese is­sues are not re­solved to your sat­is­fac­tion, it could be very hard for you to get your money back.

You could ask the owner if you could pay a small de­posit now and the bal­ance on ar­rival. Or ask if you can pay by debit or credit card. Pay­ing this way gives you pro­tec­tion in the form of a charge­back if the com­pany goes out of busi­ness or doesn’t de­liver what it promised. The scheme en­ables you to claim a re­fund from your card provider in cer­tain cir­cum­stances. It works by the card com­pany try­ing to claim your money back from the com­pany you have paid (by re­vers­ing the trans­ac­tion). Check what your card provider’s po­si­tion on charge­back is. Each card is­suer has its own pro­cesses con­cern­ing them, which are set out un­der the rules of the var­i­ous credit and debit card schemes. is only a click away, but it is al­ways worth do­ing some back­ground checks on the seller — es­pe­cially if you have not bought from them or never heard of them be­fore.

Did the seller you bought the mat­tress from have a web­site? If so, it should have a phys­i­cal ad­dress and con­tact de­tails, so you should try and make con­tact this way. If you are sus­pi­cious that the seller is not gen­uine, check if it is reg­is­tered on the Com­pa­nies Reg­is­tra­tion Of­fice’s web­site (www.cro.ie). If the seller is not reg­is­tered, you may have bought from an in­di­vid­ual, rather than a busi­ness — and in that case you don’t have any con­sumer rights.

If the busi­ness is reg­is­tered with the CRO, you should make a for­mal com­plaint in writ­ing to the busi­ness, out­lin­ing the prob­lem and how you would like it to be re­solved. If some­thing you buy on­line turns out to be faulty, you are en­ti­tled to a re­pair, re­place­ment or re­fund, de­pend­ing on the fault.

If you need help writ­ing your com­plaint, there are tem­plate com­plaint let­ters avail­able on­c­cpc.ie. If, fol­low­ing your com­plaint, you are still un­happy with the re­sponse, an­other op­tion is to use the Small Claims Process. This can be While we will en­deav­our to place your ques­tions with the most ap­pro­pri­ate ex­pert for your query, this col­umn is not in­tended to re­place pro­fes­sional ad­vice.

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