Smart Consumer: The dye in my dress ran after I wore it once -- what should I do?
Kathleen contacted Smart Consumer about a dress she bought, which she wore to a wedding the next day.
"To cut a long story short," writes Kathleen, "the dye came off the dress and on to my leather hand-bag (it was all over it) and also on to the seat I was sitting at for dinner."
Kathleen "felt this wasn't good enough and that the dye shouldn't have come off the dress like this", so she went back to the shop.
In the shop Kathleen was told that they had received no other complaints about the dress but that they would contact the supplier.
A day later she heard from the shop and was told that "they had tried rubbing the dress with a tissue and also that the supplier said he hadn't any other problems".
Nonetheless, Kathleen was offered an exchange but they didn't have the dress in red, which is the colour she had chosen, so she requested a refund instead.
The shop didn't offer a refund but said the dress would be sent to be tested and they would contact her in two weeks, but Kathleen has heard nothing.
Kathleen asks "I'm just wondering what are my rights in this situation, if any?"
Firstly, the dress should be "as described" under the terms of the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980. This means that if the dye wasn't 'fixed' and the colour was likely to easily rub off you should have been advised of this at the time of purchase, either by a sales person or on a tag attached to the dress.
Then based on all the facts you could make your decision to buy it or not.
In this instance you weren't given any indication that the dye would run and given the colour came off on your bag and seat on the first wear, it must have been quite bad.
So it seems either an incorrect or incomplete description of the dress was given, or this dress is faulty.
Either way, you're entitled to a remedy.
They did offer an exchange, but given they do not have the same dress you are entitled to ask for a refund.
Bring the damaged bag with you back to shop to show them the extent of the damage caused. You are not entitled to compensation for the damaged bag but do request a refund for the dress. If they say no, put your complaint in writing and if that doesn't work, the small claims procedure is your last port of call.