Monday 22 January 2018

Smart Consumer: Why no refund on ill-fitting garment?

Tina Leonard

Danny Cullen contacted Smart Consumer on behalf of a Mrs Kelly for advice on an item of clothing she bought that didn't fit.

Danny writes that Mrs Kelly bought the clothes in Strabane in December as a Christmas present for her grandchild. On returning home, the garment didn't fit the child.

Danny asserts that "the age label on the garment was clearly incorrect as she had no difficulty in any of the major stores regarding sizing.

"She returned to the shop and tried to get a suitable garment for an older child but could not get a proper-fitting one.

"So she requested her money back but was refused."

Danny says that Mrs Kelly accepted a credit note from the store "after some discussion". He also says that "the store confirmed in writing that they did not give refunds regardless of the complaint and whether or not the size was faulty or incorrect."

Whether you're buying anything, including an item of clothing, either here or in the North, the item must be fit for its purpose and "as described".

So, if there was an incorrect sizing label on the item of clothing Mrs Kelly should expect a replacement or refund as the description on the item was incorrect.

Bear in mind, though, that when it comes to clothing sizes, they can vary quite a lot, but this does not mean that they are incorrect.

For example, if this was an Italian- or French-made item, the sizes would be different to those used in Ireland and the UK, and are often a smaller fit.

In addition, sometimes the same sizes made by different brands can be different. If in doubt, always ask the sales person for advice on sizes before you buy.

Danny also said that the store stated that it did not give refunds for any reason. A sign like this is not allowed under consumer law, as a refund may be a remedy that the store is obliged to provide if the product is defective.

However, the store is not legally obliged to give refunds, or indeed any other remedy, just for change of mind or if clothes don't fit, for example.

So if the sign says that refunds are not available but adds that "this does not affect your statutory rights", then that is acceptable.

Q A reader recently left 50-year-old family photographs into a photo shop to get copies made.

He writes that unfortunately, the shop seems to have gone out of business as "the shutters are permanently down in the two outlets in Dublin city centre".

He asks: "What can I do here to retrieve these photos as they hold a lot of sentimental value to my family?"

A If a company has gone out of business but still has your belongings in their possession, you will most definitely want to get them back.

In order to get them, you will have to contact the liquidators, with details of your family photographs and a copy of any receipt or docket that you have.

Customers should check out the companies registration office website ( to see if a notice regarding the appointment of liquidators has been filed, so that they can get their contact details.

Irish Independent

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