Thursday 25 December 2014

The make-up pouch I bought online had a hole in it

Q Did you have a problem with any online Christmas purchases? If so, you may learn from Sara's story.

She bought make-up brushes at a cost of €13.99. She received the brushes but noticed a hole in the lining of the pouch.

Sara contacted the company via email and explained the situation. Initially they told her not to worry and that they would sort everything out.

"I have since received an email offering €2 to cover the damaged goods," writes Sara. "Do I have a leg to stand on," asks Sara, "and what do I do next?"

A Firstly, if you buy something online and it turns out to be defective then you are entitled to a refund or a replacement. Therefore, the offer of a partial refund of €2 seemed insulting.

However, taking a look at the website Sara purchased from, I discovered that the business is based in Hong Kong. This means that those rules that apply when buying from any site based in the EU don't apply to them.

On the website full contact details were not provided, and it wasn't even clear in which country the business was based. Their returns policy was poor and didn't give consumers much by the way of entitlements.

So, all that Sara could do was negotiate with the trader.

Following further negotiation, Sara had good news to report: the trader agreed to send Sara a replacement product.

Got a question for Tina? Email tleonard@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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