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What am I owed for my ruined dress?

Q Rita contacted Smart Consumer for advice on what she could expect for a dress that was damaged at the dry cleaner.

"What should I expect to receive for a dress purchased for €140 in April this year" she asks.

Rita added that the dry cleaner has taken responsibility for the damage caused.

A It's good to hear that the dry cleaners are taking responsibility, as they should.

They do have a legal responsibility to carry out their service with the necessary skill, care and diligence, so having damaged Rita's dress they are obliged to remedy the situation.

I'm assuming the dress cannot be restored or repaired to new, and so financial compensation is in order.

As the dress is unwearable, the idea is that Rita should be able to replace the dress now.

The amount of compensation will depend on the circumstances.

Because Rita only bought the dress in April, it is almost new so she should expect the full amount or near enough to the full amount paid for the garment.

On the other hand if the dress was fairly old or well-worn, you would expect less.

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Rita should bring along a receipt or credit / debit card statement to the dry cleaner to prove the amount she paid. Or if she doesn't have that, she could get a letter from the shop where it was purchased, stating the price of the dress when it was bought.