My son bought a pair of football boots online from a UK-based website. I paid £179stg, had them 11 months and used them about 25 times. The sole unit on the boot has cracked at the heel cup. We have returned the boots to the website in the UK but they have sent them back saying it is wear and tear. I can't accept this. Is there anything else we can do?
Hi Eugene. When you buy something online from an EU-based website, your basic consumer rights are the same as if you bought them from a shop. So, the goods should be of merchantable quality, fit for the purpose intended and be as described. If what you buy turns out to be faulty, you are generally entitled to a repair, replacement, reduction in the price or a full refund.
As a rule of thumb, the quicker you report the problem after receiving goods you bought online, the easier it will be to get a resolution. The issue with your son's football boots is the amount of time that has lapsed since you bought them. It becomes more difficult to enforce your rights as time passes as the retailer can argue, as it is doing, that 'wear and tear' over the last year has led to the crack in the heel cup.
You should now make a formal complaint to the company, stating why you believe it is not wear and tear and ask it to respond with a resolution to you.
It might be worthwhile for you to contact the European Consumer Centre Ireland (www.eccireland.ie). It gives free and confidential information on your consumer rights in the EU, and helps with cross-border disputes.
Another option you may wish to consider is taking an action under the European Small Claims Procedure.
Best wishes, Áine
Communications Manager with the National Consumer Agency