Zara re­turn cost me £44

The Daily Telegraph - Your Money - - FRONT PAGE -

I or­dered some throws from Zara Home cost­ing £110.

Four of them turned out not to be not quite the colour I wanted.

I con­tacted the re­tailer about re­turn­ing them for a £78 re­fund.

I had ex­pected to pay the postage if I needed to send the throws to a store or head of­fice but be­lieved this would only cost a small fee.

I was there­fore shocked to be told that to get the re­fund I could only take them back in per­son to a Zara Home store or post them back to an ad­dress in Poland.

There are no stores any­where near where I live so I had no choice but to post them to the over­seas ad­dress.

This cost me £44 and I feel so cross.

Can you help? AN­NIE WILLIAMS-BRUN, SOUTH WALES

See­ing colours ex­actly as they are on­line can be a prob­lem as you found.

I spoke to Zara Home and it agreed to pay you £44 to re­fund the postage.

It also of­fered to give you a £40 credit to spend on items on­line.

I un­der­stood that the credit had been sent by email with a code.

You didn’t re­ceive it first time round and I had to prompt the re­tailer to get it sent again.

Zara Home said: “Zara Home has al­ways of­fered its on­line cus­tomers the op­tion of re­turn­ing un­wanted goods to their lo­cal store at no ex­tra cost.”

It told me it had been aware of the re­turns is­sue when peo­ple did not live near one of its stores.

It as­serted that a pol­icy change had been un­der re­view.

Sub­se­quent to my in­volve­ment it ar­ranged that prod­ucts pur­chased on­line in the UK can be now be re­turned to its Kens­ing­ton store.

The ad­dress is 120, Kens­ing­ton High Street, Lon­don, W8 7RL.

See the com­pany’s web­site zara­home.com for more in­for­ma­tion.

Zara Home said: “There­fore this sit­u­a­tion should not arise again in the fu­ture.” the mat­ter had been dealt with, the let­ters con­tin­ued un­abated.

Only when I be­came in­volved over nine months af­ter it all started did HSBC buy back the debt from the debt col­lec­tors and pay you £200 which you found ac­cept­able. It has now apol­o­gised.

At the time an HSBC spokesman said: “We ac­knowl­edge that we should have dealt with Mr F’s cor­re­spon­dence sooner, but we have taken steps to en­sure he is not con­tacted about this ac­count again.”

In­fu­ri­at­ingly though a few days later another let­ter ar­rived from HSBC ad­dressed again to the per­son who does not live at your home.

This was say­ing that the ac­count had in­deed been re­pur­chased from the debt col­lec­tor.

It con­tin­ued in a way that felt quite sin­is­ter (al­beit I un­der­stand this is stan­dard word­ing).

The let­ter said: “On this date, HSBC Bank plc will be­come the le­gal owner of your ac­count and, un­der the Data Pro­tec­tion Act 1988, will be­come the data con­troller of the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion held in re­la­tion to your ac­count…”

As you say the let­ter was sent to some­one it knew had noth­ing what­so­ever to do with your ad­dress.

Tak­ing its prom­ise not to con­tact you again all too lit­er­ally it was not even ac­com­pa­nied by a cov­er­ing let­ter to you.

HSBC could not, when I high­lighted this to it, find the let­ter on its sys­tem.

Only when I sent a copy did the bank ac­knowl­edge it had been sent.

It said: “Un­for­tu­nately, due to an in­di­vid­ual er­ror the notes on the case not to send cor­re­spon­dence to the ad­dress were not ad­hered to and the let­ter was sent.”

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