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I wonder if anyone can give me some advice about this...

 

The basics are that on 2nd April my daughter won 1st prize in a raffle to have a bespoke prom dress designed and made for her by a local designer. The Prom was on 2nd July and, having been let down by both the designer and the organiser of the raffle, we had to rush out and buy a dress on 29th June.

 

I have posted a copy of the advert for the charity event that was on our local website below. I have also copied the Letter Before Action that I have prepared for the organiser, which contains fuller details of my complaint. I haven't pointed out in my letter how stressful the whole episode was for my daughter, who took her GCSEs in May and June. I also haven't mentioned that the fabrics I bought cost me over £30, the round trip to Liverpool was approx 30 miles (and was in the middle of exams) and the round trip to Manchester was 90 miles. Also, before offering to make a dress for my daughter the shop owner offered her a dress from the shop + a prom dress from one of her suppliers at cost price. There was nothing suitable as my daughter has very quirky taste in clothes.

 

The letter I have written is very long and I'm not sure if I need to include all the information that I have. Also, I have written the letter and signed it "on behalf of (my daughter)" as she is only 16. Is this correct? And does anyone know if the Directive and Act I have quoted are the correct ones?

 

Any help advice will be gratefully received.

 

xxxxxx Boutique Charity Fashion Show

 

xxxxxx Boutique will be hosting a Fashion Show on April 2nd at xxxxxx in aid of Breast Cancer. Tickets are available for Purchase from the store at 5 Pounds for a regular ticket or 10 for VIP entry. Tickets can also be purchased on the door at 10 Pounds for a Regular Ticket or 15 for VIP entry.

 

Local Fashion Designer xxxxxx will also be attending the Event and showing some of his 2009 collection, along with pieces from a range of other designers including John Zack, Lipsy, Rare, CeCi Tokyo, Mina Fashion and many more.

 

All proceeds will be donated to Breast Cancer Charities, and a wealth of Prizes will be included in the Raffle from local businesses, a chance to win an exclusively designed garment by (designer), tailored and bespoke made for the winner by the Fashion House which could retail from anywhere between 125 and 480 Pounds.

 

The event has been organised to increase awareness and raise money for Breast Cancer Causes, and will be a great night all round.

 

And my letter.....

 

Dear Ms xxxxxx,

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

On 2nd April 2009, at the fashion show hosted by your business, xxxxxx Boutique, in aid of breast cancer, my daughter, xxxxxx, won the 1st prize in the raffle ; “...an exclusively designed garment by xxxxxx, tailored and bespoke made for the winner by the Fashion House which could retail from anywhere between 125 and 480 Pounds.”

 

(daughter) met with (designer) on 3rd April, at which time (designer) took (daughter's) measurements and agreed to design and have made her prom dress. He understood that the prom was on 2nd July 2009, but that the dress needed to be completed before the start of (daughter)’s GCSEs on 8th May.

 

The designs were not forthcoming and (designer) did not respond to our texts or telephone calls. You told me that you had also tried to contact (designer) and that you had seen an email that he had sent (daughter), but that had not been received by her. (designer) eventually responded to my texts on 2nd May and promised to email me with the suggested designs. However, despite several reminders, he did not email me and in the week commencing 11th May you offered to adapt a dress from you stock to (daughter)’s specification. I expressed my concerns about the quality of such a dress, but you assured me that your aunt, who was a competent seamstress who made dance dresses, would assist you and that you had the ability to finish the dress to a high standard.

 

On 14th May I received an email from (designer) with suggested dress designs attached. None of the designs fitted the brief (daughter) had given him and I informed him that you had sorted something out for us. I did note, however, that in his email (designer) stated that “...Each dress shown above has a RRP of between £235 and £575...” It can be deduced that his day dresses would retail at the lower end of his price range and that a dress such as a prom dress would retail at the higher end.

 

During the following weeks (daughter) and I travelled to Liverpool to buy fabric and trimmings for the dress, for which we were not reimbursed. (daughter) visited dressmakers in (local town) to have your stock dress altered three times in between exams, but by 16th June no further progress had been made on the dress. Again I expressed my concerns that the dress could not be ready in time for the prom and suggested we should make alternative arrangements. I made it clear that the dress needed to be ready by the end of that week to enable (daughter) to shop for accessories. Again you reassured me that you and your aunt would be able to complete the dress the following week.

 

The following week you assured me that the dress would be ready by Friday 26th June as your aunt was going on holiday the following day. All that would remain would be for decorations to be added to the dress.

 

On Saturday 27th June I spoke to you on the telephone. You told me that the dress would be ready for collection from your shop on Monday at 1pm.

 

On Monday 29th June (daughter) and I arrived at your shop at 12.45pm, but you were not there and the shutters were down. You still had not arrived by 2.15 and we decided we could no longer wait. I tried to telephone you four times between 1.40 and 2.40pm, but each time was diverted to voicemail. Shortly before 3pm you telephoned me to tell me that the dress was completed but was at you aunt’s house. Your aunt was on holiday and you did not have a key to her house. You told me that (daughter)’s prom dress was “not the most important thing in .... life” and that we had taken advantage of you. I explained that we had not taken advantage of you as you had offered to provide the dress and, despite me expressing concerns on several occasions, you had assured us that you and your aunt were capable of adapting a dress to a good standard and within a reasonable time. I told you that time had run out and (daughter) and I were leaving for Manchester to buy a dress, the cost of which I expected you to reimburse. At this point you told me that you would be having a new key cut for your aunt’s house the following day. You did not explain how you would get a new key cut if you did not have the original.

 

Fortunately (daughter) found a suitable dress in Manchester and on Tuesday spent the day shopping for accessories, as most of the ones she had bought to go with the other dress were not suitable.

 

On Tuesday 30th June you telephoned me to tell me that you had the dress and it would be ready for collection at 4pm. I explained that I could not collect the dress at that time as I was at work. I also pointed out that the dress was not complete as the decorations had not been added. There would be no time to complete the dress as (daughter) would be at college all day Wednesday and the prom was on Thursday. I also reminded you that we had made alternative arrangements and asked that you returned the fabric to me as I had not been reimbursed for it. I gave you the option to detach the fabric from the dress since the base dress had come from your stock. I also explained that I expected to be reimbursed for the cost of the dress I had bought.

 

I visited you shop several times over the following fortnight, but it was always closed. When I eventually found the shop open you returned my fabric to me. It had been removed from the dress without care and a large section of it had been slashed in a malicious manner, rendering it unusable. However, it was clear from the remnants that the standard of sewing and finishing was poor and the dress would have been unwearable in its completed state. You refused to reimburse me for the dress I had bought in Manchester and were verbally abusive.

 

It is clear that you are in contravention of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive as you offered “...a competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent.” You are also in breach of contract under the Supply of Goods and Services Act as you were required to use reasonable care and skill to supply a dress of satisfactory quality, free from defects and fit for purpose. (daughter) therefore requires payment of £480, this being the advertised value of the raffle prize offered. The payment should be made in cash or by cheque made out to (daughter).

 

If you do not comply fully within 14 days then I shall begin a claim against you for the full amount plus my costs and without further notice.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

On behalf of (daughter)

Edited by southerner

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As you have written before, I don't think you need to put any of that in, they know what it's all about.

 

I would just base the letter around your last para.

 

The timeline of 14 days is good, but make sure you then carry out the threat and issue the summons. It wall only cost you about £30.

 

You should put pp (per procurationem) before your signature as it is a formal letter and omit the 'On behalf of'.

Edited by Conniff
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Thanks Conniff.

 

So my new letter should read...

 

Dear Ms xxxxxx,

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

On 2nd April 2009, at the fashion show hosted by your business, xxxxxx Boutique, in aid of breast cancer, my daughter, xxxxxx, won the 1st prize in the raffle ; “...an exclusively designed garment by xxxxxx, tailored and bespoke made for the winner by the Fashion House which could retail from anywhere between 125 and 480 Pounds.” However, the prize was not forthcoming.

 

It is clear that you are in contravention of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive as you offered “...a competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent.” You are also in breach of contract under the Supply of Goods and Services Act as you were required to use reasonable care and skill to supply a dress of satisfactory quality, free from defects and fit for purpose. (daughter) therefore requires payment of £480, this being the advertised value of the raffle prize offered. The payment should be made in cash or by cheque made out to (daughter).

 

If you do not comply fully within 14 days then I shall begin a claim against you for the full amount plus my costs and without further notice.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

pp (daughter)

 

Presumably I would need the middle part of the letter should this proceed to court.

 

Out of interest, if the boutique owner were to offer goods to the retail value of £480, would we be obliged to take them? She has little that would fit or suit my daughter and research on eBay tells me that we wouldn't get much by trying to sell them.

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The raffle was run on the night using cloakroom tickets, so there were no conditions attached.

 

Part of the reason I want the money is that I am out of pocket. I gave my daughter a budget of £150 for the prom, which was for the dress and accessories. Because she was (supposedly) getting a free dress, she persuaded me to let her spend £70 on a pair of shoes + £26 on a hat. There were other odds and ends such as make up and a bag. I then, unexpectedly, had to buy fabric,trimmings, a dress lots of petrol and new accessories, because the accessories she had bought for the prize didn't go with the dress she eventually wore. I probably spent about £350 in total. In addition to this there were days I had to work extra hours to make up for the time I'd spent running around after the dress and the horrendous amount of stress during and after the exams.

 

Unfortunately, most of the conversations I had with the boutique owner were face to face or on the phone, but there were some texts which I have saved on Bluebook. I also have the texts and emails between me and the designer.

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I sent the letter recorded delivery, but it has been returned to me as "Gone Away".

 

She recently had a closing down sale because she was "moving to larger premises". Her Facebook does not say where the new shop is. I knew this was on the cards when I was dealing with her and was always a little suspicious of some of her claims. My guess is that either she couldn't sustain the business or she became bored with it (after all, she is only 19/20). However, I would have thought she would have arranged for her mail to be redirected by the Post Office.

 

Do you know how I can trace her? I don't know her home address and she has a common surname.

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Is it the one in Southport?

 

Do you know where the aunt lived?

 

You can try a search on 192.com if you have a name and a rough idea of postcode.

If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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I've found this address but don't know if it's linked to the first...

 

Deleted info as don't think it's linked...

Edited by WelshMam2009

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7 Princes Street

Southport, United Kingdom, PR8 1EG is that the address it was at?

 

 

ida x

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Yes, it is that address.

 

I've checked 192.com for her surname; there are 103 entries in the local area! Unfortunately, I don't know her mum's initial (she lives with her mum) or the aunt's name. I might be able to find out the aunts name once the schools go back.

 

Would I be able to send a letter to the boutique owner via the aunt?

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Their website is registered as follows:

 

Result of WHOIS query:

 

Domain name:

modoboutique.co.uk

 

Registrant:

.....................

 

Registrant type:

UK Individual

 

Registrant's address:

The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their

address omitted from the WHOIS service.

 

Is this the person you are looking for??

Edited by IdaInFife
removed name

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Yes it is, Welshmam.

 

Thank you Welshmam and Ida for taking the time to help me.

 

No probs...although on social websites she is going as .........am still looking for you and trying to find something out.

 

I only get 3 results from 192.com in the PR8 area...but guess she may not live local??

Edited by IdaInFife
removed name

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The shop is on the border of ... and .... I'm guessing she lives locally because she went to school in ..., but girls travel from all over ....... and the surrounding area to go there.

Edited by southerner

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I've just rechecked 192.com and it's come up with 61 ......... in ........ I haven't checked using her initial because, as far as I know, she lives with her mum and brother. (I don't know if she has a dad)

Edited by southerner

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also waiting to see if get response from an email ;)

 

ida x

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I've just rechecked 192.com and it's come up with 61 ....... in PR8. I haven't checked using her initial because, as far as I know, she lives with her mum and brother. (I don't know if she has a dad)

 

Do you know her Mum's name?? Electoral register might be the best asssuming they haven't opted out...

 

Curious to know what Ida's up to lol!! ;)

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as i'm up here

 

preston and southport, are they in lancashire?

 

ida x

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preston and southport, are they in lancashire?

 

ida x

 

They are in Lancashire, although for some purposes Southport is in Merseyside or Sefton (which is a sore point if you live there!)

Edited by southerner

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if you could narrow the list down to 10 telephone numbers would you call the asking for her as the dressmaker?

 

Ida x

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Thanks Ida.

 

I would be reluctant to call myself as being a southerner (hence the name) living in the north I have a distinctive accent. I could consider getting someone else to call on my behalf, but since she isn't a dress maker it might backfire. I don't really want her to be forewarned about the letter as she might refuse to sign for it.

 

I've found 2 ................on the electoral register in Merseyside in the age bracket 17 - 20. Is there anyway I can find the addresses without having to pay 192.com?

Edited by IdaInFife
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Thanks Ida.

 

I would be reluctant to call myself as being a southerner (hence the name) living in the north I have a distinctive accent. I could consider getting someone else to call on my behalf, but since she isn't a dress maker it might backfire. I don't really want her to be forewarned about the letter as she might refuse to sign for it.

 

I've found 2 .........on the electoral register in Merseyside in the age bracket 17 - 20. Is there anyway I can find the addresses without having to pay 192.com?

 

The register is free for inspection at your local council. However, the details may be listed by addresses rather than names which wouldn't help much.

If you feel I've helped then by all means click my star to the left...a simple "thank you" costs nothing! ;)

 

Restons MBNA -v- WelshMam

 

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