Asserting your consumer rights
A few months ago I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my husband’s sister. Now I have to say I’ve used Flowers Direct a lot over the years and never had a problem until now…!
Luckily my husband asked his sister if she liked the flowers and she said she hadn’t received them. As you would expect if you have read anything on this Blog I complained. I emailed on the 30th April to say that they hadn’t been delivered. I got a stunning email in return. I received a confirmation on the 1st May that the delivery on the 30th April would be made. Good eh? I emailed again and got a response to say that they were looking into it. Days later I emailed again but heard nothing. So on the 11th May I emailed the CEO quoting the relevant Laws that they were breaking. (Supply of Goods and Service Act 1982 and Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994) (For goods and services after October 1st 2015 use the Consumer Rights Act 2015). No response. So what does one do then? You can always do something! I drafted a letter to the Credit Card company as Flowers Direct had not delivered anything for the money. I sent them a copy and guess what? Yes, I got a reply!
The amount was under £100 and so it was therefore not protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Card Act . However it would be fraud if a company took money and didn’t provide anything for it!
Flowers Direct was involved in some business buying out another and so emails were getting lost I was told. So often it’s poor internal communication that results in the non delivery of goods/service. The Customer Services Representative gave a full refund and asked if I would like a bouquet sent to the recipient or myself. I told her both (and got them!)
So if your customer service could do with some innovation see The Complaining Cow Services.
For advice , tips, consumer laws and template letters. GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!
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Yesterday Martin Lewis asked for people who have had successes with gaining money back using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Obviously I have! More than once! Having good stories to tell I got in contact with Laura. She wanted me to come in to be interviewed this morning. I couldn’t because I wouldn’t have been able to get there in time (despite her kind offers of help). She told me that for the rest of the series they will be looking at people that need Martin’s help on various topics. This is the only segment where they needed to find people to talk about their success stories. For example, they’d be looking for someone who has had a private parking ticket further down the line, but not someone who has already successfully appealed against it. (Of course I have had success appealing a parking ticket!)
The excellent Watchdog, and charismatic Dominic Littlewood etc. all focus on people who need help in gaining redress. How about a programme showing people who are doing it without help? Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a place for these informative programmes (even threatening to take matters to Watchdog is often enough to get what you want!) and they do cover the more difficult ones where often I would simply be taking the company to Court. (Yes done that and won too more than once!) However, in addition to this style of programme wouldn’t it be good to see normal people challenging CEOs on their customer service? Or simply gaining redress on simple matters? Wouldn’t that make for a different kind of programme? It would be just as helpful as the other types. Sometimes people watch Watchdog and think that there’s no point in trying to gain redress from companies because it’s too difficult, takes too long or they don’t have the knowledge. I would love to see (be part of even!) a programme where average people assert their legal rights and indeed are part of improving customer service with their feedback. This might encourage people to fight too! I’d give Anne Robinson a run for her money if I could speak with Phillip Clarke CEO of Tesco who ignored me! More than once. Perhaps some more women on there too BBC?!
Would you like to see a programme where you see people fight back at companies treating them inappropriately? Find it interesting, useful, and/or helpful? Who wants to put the TV series proposal together?!