Smart Consumer: Do I deserve a full refund if my daughter just didn't like a gift I gave her?
Published 04/11/2010 | 05:00
Pauline contacted Smart Consumer about a suit that she bought her daughter as a gift in October.
"Having tried it on just once," writes Pauline, "she decided that it did not suit her, so I returned the suit after 14 days to the shop where I had bought it."
She continues: "I was told on buying the suit that there would be no problem in getting a refund, should I wish to return the suit. However, when I returned the suit, in the same bag in which it was placed on the day I bought it, I was told that I could not have a full refund as the skirt of the suit was slightly creased. They sent it to the dry cleaners to be pressed and then took €9.97 off the refund for having the skirt pressed. The suit cost €289.90."
"What are my rights regarding the refund on this purchase?" asks Pauline.
Given that the suit was returned because your daughter didn't like it, rather than it being defective in some way, your statutory rights don't kick in here at all.
This is because you only have a right to a remedy (usually repair, replacement or refund) if the item you buy is faulty or does not match the description.
The only instance in which you are legally entitled to a refund just for change of mind is when you buy online, and then you have to tell the web trader within the cooling-off period of seven days that you plan to send it back.
So, in this instance, whether you can return and get a refund for the suit or not, depends on the shop's own returns policy for 'change of mind'.
The shop clearly told you at the outset that returning a suit and getting a refund would be no problem, so it seems they operate a decent returns policy.
However, it appears that broke down when they decided the skirt you returned was slightly creased.
I can appreciate that the shop wants the skirt back without creases, but as their contract with you allowed you to return it, and the suit wasn't damaged or torn in any way, I don't think they should have debited the cost of pressing the suit from your refund.
In fact, I would consider that poor customer service -- after all, once a suit is placed in a bag it will become slightly creased, and your custom should be valued more highly.