I love the summer sales – all those clothes and shoes suddenly slashed in price tend to give my card a bit of a workout. Luckily I haven’t run into any problems while sales shopping, but what should you do if you have?
When I asked around my colleagues for their sales disasters, one told me about recently buying clothes online in a well-known retailer’s sale.
When they arrived she realised they were very different from how they had appeared on the website. The t-shirt was a neon-orange colour (not coral as advertised on the site), one top was completely see-through, and the shoes looked like they had been glued together! Fortunately, she managed to get a refund for all three items.
Stay savvy in the summer sales
According to the Office for National Statistics, retail shopping has increased by 2.2% – and feedback from the stores themselves suggest that this was done to promotions and people buying clearance items.
But what if the items you buy in a sale aren’t up to scratch? You still have rights. Sale items must be sold as described, be of satisfactory quality and be fit for purpose. So if those shoes you bought look as if they were stuck together with glue, or there’s poor stitching on your new shirt, it doesn’t make a difference if you bought it in the sales or not.
I’ve had a summer sales disaster, help!
As soon as you realise there’s a problem with your sales item, tell the retailer. They should agree to refund your money, or repair or replace the item. If they refuse, you need to write to them. Remember to explain that the fault was not one that you were made aware of when you bought the item.
There are a couple of points worth remembering though. Shops do often place time restrictions on returning non-faulty sale items, so do check the returns policy before buying.
You also can’t claim under the Sale of Goods Act for faults you were told about before you bought an item – sometimes that fault is the very reason the product is on sale in the first place!
If the retailer is trying to limit or exclude your rights, such as by saying it doesn’t give refunds on sales items, you can also complain to the trading standards department local to the retailer. I’d give the shop a chance to put things right before going down this route though!
Have you ever had any sales shopping disasters? Did you get a refund? Was it easy to get your money back?