Zara return cost me £44
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.”