Friday 19 January 2018

Buyer beware - Court says consumer not entitled to debs dress refund from French Connection

French Connection were found to have complied with Irish consumer law
French Connection were found to have complied with Irish consumer law

Sarah-Jane Murphy

A court has found that retailer French Connection adhered to consumer law by attaching a label regarding specialist dry cleaning instructions to a 'high maintenance garment'.

Their customer, Ms Agnes Hackett, told Dublin's small claims court that various dry cleaners would not accept liability for any damage that was likely to take place during the cleaning process.

She said that the maxi-dress, bought for her daughters debs, was heavily pleated and she was informed by dry cleaners that the chemical process may interfere with this decorative design feature.

Ms Hackett said that no oral warning was given to her regarding the delicate nature of the dress when she paid for her purchase.

Mr Peter Lynch, speaking on behalf of French Connection, told the court that the dress was sent to the company's 'garment technologist' in London for examination.

He said that internal reports showed that the dress was of merchantable quality and could be dry cleaned in accordance with the specific instructions on the label.

Judge Coughlan said that while he had sympathy for Ms Hackett's predicament, "a retailer is responsible for the condition of the product at the point of sale and is not responsible for consequences down the road."

He remarked that "the cautionary note on the label was suffieient and was there for all potential purchasers to see."

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