Sunday 28 December 2014

Avoiding unholy headaches at First Holy Communions

Published 30/03/2014 | 02:30

Mother Carla says her daugher Carla can never get her Communion Day back.
Aldi begins selling Communion dresses

WITH about six weeks to go before First Holy Communion starts to kick off around the country, many parents will soon be footing the bill for the most expensive dress or trouser suit their little darlings have worn yet.

Parents spent an average of €713 on their child's First Holy Communion last year – and for those forking out hundreds of euro on a designer dress or suit, the bill could easily be more than €1,000.

The consumer watchdog, the National Consumer Agency (NCA), is urging parents not to feel pressurised into splashing out beyond what they can afford to spend on the day. One way to curb the cost of the event is to see if a family member or friend who is celebrating on the same day would be interested in sharing the cost of a party or event with you, according to the NCA.

The watchdog has also warned parents to be careful about putting a deposit down when booking venues – or indeed, when ordering communion attire. "Deposits are usually non-refundable so if you pay a deposit and then change your mind about the product or service, the supplier does not have to return your deposit," said the NCA in its new guide on preparing for the day. "If you need to pay a deposit when booking a venue, only pay a small amount if possible and use your Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card rather than paying cash. This may allow you to request a chargeback on your card if the company goes out of business or doesn't provide the item or service."

For more tips, visit www.consumerhelp.ie.

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