Bare wires and howls from dogs ruined hols
MR JUSTICE’S TOP TIPS
IT’S sometimes worth a reminder of basic consumer laws.
Here’s one question readers often ask: can I get always get a refund on something bought from a shop if I change my mind? The answer is no. Shops do not have to refund any money if there is no fault.
But they can offer a gesture of goodwill to resolve – or partially resolve – a request to take something back.
That’s what happened to Joan Stewart, 75, of Wallsend, after she bought a lawnmower from B&Q only to find it was too big and heavy for her needs.
I had to tell her that B&Q had done nothing wrong in refusing a refund.
But I did agree to ask if they could show some goodwill.
There was an offer but Joan has refused it.
Joan, who uses a wheelchair and gets her garden looked after by a friend, told me what happened.
She said: “I bought the lawnmower for £289, but when I got it home I realised it was far too heavy.
“It was never out of the box so I returned it to B&Q but they would not take it back and give me my money back.
“At one point someone offered a credit note, which I would have been happy with, but someone else said I could not have the credit note so that was that.”
She left the lawnmower at B&Q and that’s when she told me what had happened.
B&Q offered a partial refund but Joan had lost the receipt and, by then, the lawnmower had come down in price by a considerable amount.
A spokeswoman told me: “We have not been able to give her the full amount.
“We were sorry to hear of Mrs Stewart’s experience. We have offered to arrange a refund for the current price of the product.”
The mower was on sale for £289 but the price is now £120.
One of the sticking points is the lack of a receipt.
Joan said it was thought the receipt had been accidentally shredded.
It would have been nice if B&Q had done more for her but there was no legal requirement to do so.
Citizens Advice has some advice for people who want to return an item when they have changed their minds.
They say: “If you’ve changed your mind about something you bought in a shop, first check their own policy on returns.
“Even though they don’t have to do it by law, lots of shops will say you can return items within 14 or sometimes even 30 days, as long they’re not used.
“The shop’s returns policy might be written on your receipt, or you could check their website or call your local branch to ask.
“Bear in mind that shops often reduce the amount of time you have to return items bought in a sale, although you’ll still always be protected if something is faulty.
“You’ll stand a better chance if you take your receipt with you and return the item in its original packaging. It’s up to them what they offer you – you’ll need to decide whether to accept it or not.” A FURIOUS mum has claimed her family were put in danger on a Thomas Cook holiday that was far from relaxing.
Anne Austin said bare live wires were hanging from the back on a TV set in their apartment in Turkey.
She said her son Daniel, five, was at risk from the dangerous wires at the four-star Cosmopolitan Resort Hotel in Marmaris.
The holiday company said they would work with the hotel to fix the issue and others Anne had raised.
Anne, of Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle, said: “It was the holiday from hell.
“But the main problem was the state of the electrics on the television set.
“I went to turn the TV on and noticed the signal was rubbish.
“I had a close look and saw wires hanging out of the back held on with masking tape, but you could still see the bare metal.
“I complained and the hotel put an
Joan Stewart of Churchill Street, Wallsend, is in dispute with B&Q over the return of a lawnmower