Sunday 19 November 2017

Smart Consumer: I'm cracking up over my new oak floors, but the shop refuses to pay up

Q Patricia Kelly bought a semi-solid oak floor for her hallway in April for €900. She employed a carpenter to lay the floor, paying him €600.

She writes: "About three weeks later my husband noticed cracks in the floor. We asked the carpenter to have a look and he told us there was a fault in the flooring. I contacted the store and they sent out their own rep and a rep from the timber company and both agreed the floor should not have cracked. I told them I wanted a refund for the cost of the floor, plus the cost of having the floor installed.

"They offered us one of two solutions: (a) they would take up the boards that were damaged and replace them (but I have been told it is not possible to do this) or (b) give us our money back for the flooring once it has been taken up and returned. They will not pay for the cost of putting down the floor or what it will cost to take up. I feel we are being badly treated. We spent about €3,500 in this shop, as we bought doors and skirting as well, and they don't want to deal with us."

A Firstly when you buy a product it has to be 'fit for its purpose' and 'as described' as per the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980.

If something goes wrong and the product turns out to be faulty then you are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund from the retailer. Clearly in this case a repair is not applicable so it comes down to replacement flooring or a refund.

From the point of view of your legal entitlements, as they only provided the flooring and they did not install it, it means they are only liable for the flooring itself. They are not obliged to pay or reimburse for any additional service such as a carpenter or painter, but only for the defective product they sold.

Having said that, you did give a lot of custom to the shop and the floor cannot be used unless it is laid by a carpenter. So with that in mind I would suggest you try to negotiate with them to find a solution.

Q Nellie Carr got in touch about last week's column. She writes: "In the travelling tips you have allowed a 15kg cabin bag on board with Ryanair. I assume this is a slip of the pen and should read 10kg. I only hope that not too many travellers turn up at Dublin airport with 15kg in their cabin bag!"

A Indeed, Ryanair's carry-on weight limit is 10kg. Their checked-luggage weight limit, on the other hand, is 15kg per bag up to two bags. For those who plan on checking in a lot of luggage, you may be interested to hear that last week Ryanair announced an alternative 20kg checked-in luggage amount, which you can opt for instead, but you'll have to pay more for it. It will add a lot to the price of your ticket at €25/€45 or €30/€50 for travel in July and August, each way.

Irish Independent

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