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Sunday 28 May 2017

Shop told to 'rethink' after selling broken piano for €400

Greg Harkin

A JUDGE has told a charity shop to think again after refusing to refund a woman who paid €400 for a broken piano.

Denise O'Boyle paid €400 for the 85-year-old piano at the Good And New charity shop in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

She paid a further €100 for it to be delivered to her home and a further €100 to have it tuned.

Ms O'Boyle, from Killybegs, told the Small Claims Court in Letterkenny she had bought the piano for her daughter.

She had priced various pianos but said they cost in the region of €3,000 and was delighted when she saw the piano in the charity shop for €400.

She brought a friend with her to view the piano, but admitted the woman was not a piano expert.

"She just knew that it didn't have woodworm, and we thought it was okay then," said Ms O'Boyle.

However, when a piano tuner arrived at her home, Ms O'Boyle was told the piano was only worth €50.

"The piano tuner told me the keys were broken and it was rusty and that it couldn't be tuned. He told me it wasn't much good and it was only worth about €50," she said.

Faith

Ms O'Boyle, of Tullid, Killybegs is seeking her money back from the Good and New Charity shop on Port Road, Letterkenny.

However, solicitor for the shop, Karen McGinley, said the piano was bought in good faith. She said a long time had elapsed between when it was bought in January this year and when the complaint was made in June.

Ms O'Boyle said the delay was due to difficulty finding a proper piano tuner. She also added that she had been in contact with a consumer representative and was told her purchase was covered under the Sales of Goods Act.

However, defending solicitor Ms McGinley said this was "a grey area" and that an unreasonable time had elapsed since the item was bought.

"There was a five-month period between when it was bought and when the first complaint was made and we feel that is excessive.

"The goods are sold at the shop as seen. The shop has no government funding and relies on goodwill to run buses for cancer patients from Donegal to Galway and Dublin for treatment," she said.

Judge Paul Kelly said it was a "rather unfortunate situation" that the case had come to court.

He adjourned the case until October 3, adding: "I think the shop might like to reconsider the matter."

Irish Independent

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