My boots started to chip after four wears!
Published 16/12/2011 | 06:00
Q Anita recently bought a pair of winter boots for €80 but after only four wears she writes that "several pieces of the paint chipped off and so they started to look very shabby".
So Anita brought them back to the shop, along with her receipt. They told her that they "would have to send them back to the manufacturer but not to hold my breath". She also reports that they informed her that as the boots were soft leather this is why the damage occurred.
Anita says that she has had other similar boots for several years and that "nothing like this has happened to them before".
In addition she writes "surely if the leather was so soft as to chip like this so quickly, it was not suitable for its intended use", and she wants to know what her rights are.
A When you buy a product (including boots) they should be 'fit for purpose' and 'as described'. In other words boots should be wearable and fit for walking around in, ie the intended use. And they should suffer no fault apart from damage caused by normal wear and tear.
When something is faulty or not as described, the shop where you bought it is legally obliged to provide a remedy (repair, replacement or refund) and these rights fall under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980.
Anita also has to take into account what the reasonable life span of the boots should be, and in this case would you expect boots after only four wears to start 'chipping'? If they are leather I think it's reasonable to expect that leather doesn't come away after four wears with no excessive use.
So, I advised Anita to go back to the shop and talk to the manager. She should remind them that it is their legal responsibility and not the manufacturer's (she has no contract with them) to provide a remedy.
Armed with knowledge of her rights Anita went back to the shop, argued her case and was given a credit note. This enabled her to select a different pair of boots, so her problem is resolved.