Andrea bought a Penguin Pocket Red T shirt from Scotts, part of the JD Sports chain paying £29.00. The shirt had been worn once and washed once and she returned it to the store two weeks later. She was told that the t shirt would need to be sent off for inspection despite the notice in their store saying that this would be done when items were over 90 days old.
She received a letter back saying that the fault was due to “contact damage”. Utterly ridiculous, what contact damage and by whom given as we believe that the hole was there at point of purchase and if it wasn’t it developed within one day’s wear and day’s wash and the hole was in the stitching which the photograph alone showed!
Clearly a breach of the Sale and Supply of Goods Act! (From the 1st October 2015 you would now quote Consumer Rights Act 2015.) Andrea then wrote and didn’t receive a response. She emailed again and was told that they hadn’t received the letter (despite it being signed for!) but would do another inspection. She then contact me and I wrote this for her to send the CEO:
Dear Mr Cowgill
I received a letter from xxxx department to which my complaint was passed. However, I have already written to this department and part of my complaint was how they dealt with it. In fact the matter has now got worse. Scotts has rejected my claim regarding the faulty product. It has now since said that my letter can’t be found even though it was sent recorded delivery and was signed for, for which I obviously have proof. I am now being told to resend the t shirt. I am not going to do this. I have already sent this once and see no reason why I should be put to yet more inconvenience due to Scott’s appalling service. Under the amended Sales of Goods Act 1979 I am entitled to goods that are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. This t shirt clearly breaches that.
I expect a full refund and appropriate redress for the inconvenience caused. I look forward to hearing from you within seven days. Should I not be fully satisfied with your response I will start proceedings in the Small Claims Court against you with no further reference to you. I will be claiming for the cost of the t shirt, the cost of an independent report stating that the t shirt has only been washed once, cost of postage (recorded delivery etc.) redress for my time spent on the matter, the court fee and out of pocket expenses for attending court (e.g. work time, mileage, parking costs etc.)
Andrea received a call from the manager of Customer Services saying that they said they don’t think they were in breach of consumer rights (I beg to differ) but as a goodwill gesture they would refund the full amount in a voucher (I had told Andrea not to accept this, cash refund only to which he then agreed) plus £20 gift voucher on return of the t shirt. A good result in the end but the matter didn’t end there.
Unfortunately, Andrea wrote to customer services to say that she had thought about the conversation and couldn’t she just dispose of the garment? She received an email back to say that if she did not return the garment she would not get a refund. You must keep to your agreements you make with customer services otherwise why should they keep theirs? They were paying the postage for the return and providing a goodwill gesture so it is not unreasonable for the item to be returned, they might want it for quality control or tax purposes. It’s a fair enough statement to say no return no refund and Andrea was receiving a goodwill gesture for the inconvenience.
However, the matter did not end there. As often is the case in customer services, the internal communication was appalling and Andrea received an email to say that they needed the t shirt for inspection and couldn’t over turn the decision! Meanwhile, Andrea had tried to use the gift card in store and was told that there was no money on it and it would take some days for it to appear. This is obviously nonsense. She wasted more time in store trying to deal with the matter.
I wrote again outlining the embarrassment and poor service plus the ridiculous email she received. Andrea received a further £20 goodwill gesture receiving this time a card for £40 that worked.
This story outlines one of the classic fob offs trying to say that the fault was not there at point of purchase. It also highlights the need to persevere sometimes and pursue your legal rights.
Would you like to email JD Sports CEO? Here you go -- all the contact details. You’re welcome 🙂
For more information on how to complain effectively with tips, advice and template letters see the book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!