Wednesday 7 December 2016

Know your rights: Problems with a purchase through a voucher agent

Problems with a purchase through a voucher agent, and forgetting to book bags on a flight. What are your rights? Our expert has the answers...

Dermott Jewell

Published 05/05/2016 | 02:30

Dermott Jewell
Dermott Jewell

Q: Hi Dermott, I bought two pairs of branded boots in a promotion running through a voucher agent in March. When we received them there was a problem with the fit for both my girls and so we followed the voucher agent's process and contacted the merchant directly.

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This has been unsuccessful with what was originally an unanswered call but now, four weeks later, is a disconnected tone. I even went to their store in Dublin and it was closed down with all of the stock removed.

I alerted the voucher agent as they were still running the promotion but they were really unhelpful.

I would appreciate any advice please. If it helps, I paid by credit card. Tina

A: Ok, Tina, it does help but you need to act immediately. Contact your credit card company to advise them of the problem and outline that you are requesting that the payment be withheld and flagged for reversal.

Tell them that you are unable to make contact with the company to fulfil your entitlement under consumer law to have the problem resolved by replacement. Outline and clarify also that your rights buying online have been denied you as you were unable to return the items to the merchant who sold the boots within the 14-day cooling-off period.

More importantly though, tell them you are making the request under Section 14 of the Sale of Goods & Supply of Services Act, 1980 which, thankfully, makes the credit card company a joint party in the sale. A great ally to have in circumstances like these.

Now, in the absence of hearing from them, I have to say how worrying it is that you suggest the agent who took your money originally, through a plethora of terms and conditions, is unwilling or bothered to help you in any way.

Q: We recently had a baggage problem with a well-known low cost airline. We travelled out without a problem. On the return leg of the journey, however, it was pointed out to us at the check-in desk that we hadn't booked the bags on the return flight. We were told that there was a charge of €70 per bag - which, after a lengthy argument, they reduced to €30. We are eager to take this further. Thanks, Orla

A: I am afraid you will be unhappy with my reply as the airline is neither at fault or unfair to you in how they have handled this, Orla.

It used to be the case that boxes were pre-ticked, much to the great annoyance of consumers across the EU. Too often, we ended up paying for something we did not want, simply because we missed noticing the pre-ticked box.

That has been reversed and is why, when booking, you ticked the box to add bags to your flight out - you needed to do the same for the return journey.

I understand the frustration but, if you think back, the reduction they allowed gave some reasonable consideration that this was an easy mistake to make and a decent reduction was made.

Irish Independent

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