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Mr Grumps

Deposit Paid But Goods Sold On

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Hopefully someone can help me. On Saturday, I found some items of clothing in a Mama's and Papa's store that were in the half price sale. As I did not have enough cash on me at the time, I opted to pay a 25% deposit to hold the goods until I could collect them today. The assistant was obviously new and was being shaddowed by a more experienced member of staff. When I called today to pick the goods up, it has emerged that the staff member did not code the deposit correctly and as a result, the goods went back on the shelf. Low and behold, they have sold and they do not have anymore in stock (and they no longer make these items). The order value was only £30 but it is the principle. As I had paid a deposit on the goods, to hold them, what are my rights against Mama's and Papa's? My plan is to contact their head office and try to pursue that way but are there any 'legal rights' that I can quote in a bid to get them to do something? Thank you to everyone in advance who can assist with this.

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Have they returned your deposit already?

 

If so, then you will most likely find that is as far as you will get.

The items are no longer made, so by putting you back in the position you were, they would be seen as fulfilling their responsibility.

 

A complaint to head office can't hurt, though I would not expect uch more than a sorry back.


Disclaimer...

All advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. offered by '
Turtle1000
' is taken at a readers 'own risk & responsibility' and 'Without Prejudice'.

 

Should a reader wish to undertake action following advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. by '
Turtle1000
', it is recommended that full & proper legal consulation be first made before any implimentation or undertakings.

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I refused to accept the refund back on to my card as I wanted to try and find an angle with their head office first of all. If there is no other option then all I can do is accept the refund from them. I would ideally like to have some amunition before ringing them as the next closest items now (i.e. non-sale items) are full price - So £60 as opposed to the goods that I paid the deposit on were £30.

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The store is only obligated to give you a refund of the deposit you paid.

 

It was an offer to treat, until such time as you offered full money and they accepted full payment. Even if they had not made a mistake by putting them back on sale they could have decided to do that anyway because the goods still belonged to them.

 

Sounds like a new member of staff has made a genuine error, sadly that happens sometimes.

 

You don't really have a legal angle to argue with, anything they offer (over and above a refund of your deposit) will be out of goodwill.

 

Mossy

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The store is only obligated to give you a refund of the deposit you paid.

 

It was an offer to treat, until such time as you offered full money and they accepted full payment. Even if they had not made a mistake by putting them back on sale they could have decided to do that anyway because the goods still belonged to them.

 

Sounds like a new member of staff has made a genuine error, sadly that happens sometimes.

 

You don't really have a legal angle to argue with, anything they offer (over and above a refund of your deposit) will be out of goodwill.

 

Mossy

 

I disagree, Once the deposit was paid, a contract was formed and the shop have breached this contract,

 

You could sue for 'loss of bargain'; find out how much similar items cost and sue for the difference.

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I agree they have in effect sold your goods and should offer you similar items to those which you paid for irrespective of the new value, for the original cost. I pressume you have a receipt for the deposit describing the goods etc.

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If I can take a devil's advocate, anti-consumer, viewpoint, I'd like to point this out:

 

There are many threads on here describing situations where the consumer has made an honest mistake, and with much opinion that retailers should take honest mistakes into consideration and treat them fairly.

 

In this case, hasn't the retailer made a simple, honest, mistake. Would it be beyond the pale to say that maybe the OP should cut the shop some slack?

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That is a decision the OP needs to take and indeed may see that as a point of view, however I think the shop should show some sort of goodwill as a customer has been inconenienced by their actions.

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I disagree, Once the deposit was paid, a contract was formed and the shop have breached this contract,

 

You could sue for 'loss of bargain'; find out how much similar items cost and sue for the difference.

 

Pat, you are usually spot on with your legal advice and you may well be with this one too, but I disagree.

 

I always thought that goods displayed were an invitation to treat, which if accepted does not give rise to a contract (Fisher V Bell early 60's I think from memory) until such time as the full amount was tendered.

 

Since the OP had not paid full payment the contract was not effected, title to the goods remained with the shop who could do with them as they pleased.

 

Mossy

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This might be cat amongst the pigeons, but;

 

A deposit is just a promisery - a commitment to demonstrate you are intending to complete the contract in full.

 

As opposed to a part payment - where part ownership comes into consideration.

 

Its years since I dealt with this. Back then I had some back up references as I used the difference in terms to get monies refunded where a car dealer claimed I had placed a non-returnable deposit whilst I claimed part payment and agreed to receive money back once he had sold the car as part of an amicable agreement. He quickly saw there was no point in witholding the monies and returned them.

 

I digress, but point being, the OP has made a promisery to purchase the goods and upheld her side of the agreement by returning at the specified time to conclude the transaction. Retailer had agreed to the terms but have failed due to an error on their part.

 

This all makes patdavies, 'loss of bargain' from post #5 very much the valid legal approach.

 

Of course, your loss of bargain being £30 (the bargain element) MINUS £22.50 (difference to make up to full sale price of purchase) = £7.50 in settlement (your equivalent out-of-pocket).

 

So if they give you back your £7.50 deposit plus another £7.50 in settlement, you would be all squared up as far as the law is concerned.

Edited by Turtle1000
Typo

Disclaimer...

All advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. offered by '
Turtle1000
' is taken at a readers 'own risk & responsibility' and 'Without Prejudice'.

 

Should a reader wish to undertake action following advice, information, views, opinions or statements, etc. by '
Turtle1000
', it is recommended that full & proper legal consulation be first made before any implimentation or undertakings.

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