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Refused Refund for faulty online purchase at WSC - THE WATCH STRAP CO

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Hi

 

I've ordered a leather apple watch strap from WSC - THE WATCH STRAP CO. The strap was faulty and I returned it back to them within a few days of receiving it and requested a refund.

However they refuse a refund and only offer a replacement or a credit.

They claim their terms of conditions clearly state that.

 

I am pretty sure that I have a right to a full refund but I am not sure which is the applicable legislation.

Is it the Consumer Rights Act or the Distance Selling Regulations?

Where can I find the relevant sections?

 

They also have a sticker on the straps that says that you can only return the item when the seal is not broken. I know this is valid for CDs, DVDs or software but I believe this is not applicable to watch straps.

 

I spent an hour with them on the phone but they would not agree to a refund only stating their terms of conditions - which I think are void but I need the right paragraphs when I write a letter to them.

 

Can anyone help me with the applicable legislation? How would you proceed? I am thinking of initially using resolver.co.uk

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you ordered it online? if so then it is distance selling regs that allows you to retun it without giving a reason for a refund. If it is faulty then they are obliged to pick up the tab for the return postage as well. Faulty goods doubly covered.

Clearly they have no understanding of what they need to do to run a business as their T&C's cnat leave you in a worse position than the law states you have as a minimum.

How did you pay for it? a recharge via your bank is the quickest method of getting your money back. If they want to play silly buggers they may well find themselves without a merchant portal for taking card payments

As their T&C's do state that the conditions do not affect your statutory rights you might want to remind them that si what you are usingto return the duff item and it will cost them a small fortune for the day out to learn this simple lesson.

alos use social media to slag them off regarding their lack of knowledge about consumer law. try the bank first though and then let them know they are deserving everything that will happen to them aas a consequence

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The Distance Selling Regulations are no longer in force. They have been superseded by the Consumer Protection Regulations 2013 which came in force 2014.

 

As has been explained though, if you buy anything at a distance then you are entitled to return it for any reason within 14 days.

 

As you seem to have already guessed, you are also covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If a defect manifests itself within the first 30 days then you are entitled to a full refund without any question. I believe the refund should normally be made within seven days.

 

In order to benefit from the "short-term right to reject" you must assert the right in writing. Write to them immediately and tell them that you are asserting your short-term right to reject under the Consumer Rights Act and that you are returning the watch to them and that you want a complete refund including any delivery costs and including the cost of return to them plus the cost of packaging.

 

If you want to assert yourself quickly then I suggest that you consider taking legal action and if you are prepared to do that – and from what you say you have a better than 95% chance of success, that you send the letter I suggested above in the form of a letter of claim and tell them that if you do not have your refund within the specified time that you will sue them in the County Court at the expiry of 14 days and without any further notice to them.

 

Only make the threat if you're prepared to go ahead. Frankly it's a no-brainer. You might as well. You can't lose. These people are stupid because they seem only to ascribe a value to their watch and nothing to their reputation.

 

If you want to sue them then we will help you. It's very easy.

 

What is the value of the watch?


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Here is their completely unenforceable term relating to the return by the customer of defective objects.

Exchanges

Exchanges will only be offered on faulty items and the replacement item will be like-for-like. All faulty items must be sent back within 7 days of receipt. Once we have received your item it will be assessed and a member of the returns team will be in touch accordingly.

 

Any signs of a fault developing must be reported to us, in writing, before this develops further. If allowed to develop into a more significant issue / the extent of the damage worsens, returns will not be accepted.

 

Please allow up to three working days from receipt of the returned item for the replacement to be dispatched.

 

Please note that if we do not have the available stock for the requested exchange, an email will be sent to you accordingly. If the item is not due back in stock within 14 days, a refund will automatically be processed and a confirmation email will be sent to you.

https://thewatchstrap.co/returns/

 

Frankly this amounts to unfair trading.


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There full Terms and conditions are here: https://thewatchstrap.co/terms-and-conditions/

 

I am not an expert but things like this paragraph:

6. Damaged or Defective Goods

You should inspect the goods when you receive them for defects or damage. If you find a defect or damage you must tell us as soon as possible (within 7 days) before wearing the item and refer to our ‘Returns Policy’ here: https://thewatchstrap.co/returns/ for instructions on how to return an item and our terms and conditions relating to this.

 

That would apply that there is only a warrantee of 7 days and you are not even allowed to use it in that period?

 

Other parts from that side:

To be eligible for a refund or merchandise credit, items must be returned in new condition, unworn, showing no signs of wear or damage.

WsC watch straps are sold as jewellery items, intended to be worn against a person’s skin. As such, we adhere to strict hygiene policies. Unfortunately, we cannot accept returns on any items if the tamper-evident packaging / security seal shows any signs of being opened / tampered with. This is for hygiene reasons and does not affect your statutory rights. WsC packaging boxes can be opened to view the strap within its tamper-evident packaging, this will enable you to see the colour and style of the strap in person. Strap measurements are provided on our product pages. As stated above, for hygiene reasons straps that have been worn / tried on cannot be returned.

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I think this part might explain it:

 

The Watch Strap Co is also bound by relevant codes of conduct as defined in regulation 5(3)(b) of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Copies of the Unfair Tradition Regulations 2008 can be found by visiting www.legislation.gov.uk

 

They are using an outdated regulation! The company is new though only registered in April 2018

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It's all nonsense. Don't worry about their terms and conditions which are seriously flawed – as apparently is their attitude to their customers.

 

Send the letter which I have suggested and frame it as a letter of claim if you want to take assertive action. You still haven't answered my question as to the value of the watch

 

Also, you should download copies of all of their terms and conditions – just in case they are suddenly changed – so that if you take it to court you can show the judge their general approach to their legal obligations. If there is any doubt then that will swing it in your direction completely.


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It's all nonsense. Don't worry about their terms and conditions which are seriously flawed – as apparently is their attitude to their customers.

 

Send the letter which I have suggested and frame it as a letter of claim if you want to take assertive action. You still haven't answered my question as to the value of the watch

 

Also, you should download copies of all of their terms and conditions – just in case they are suddenly changed – so that if you take it to court you can show the judge their general approach to their legal obligations. If there is any doubt then that will swing it in your direction completely.

Hi it is not a watch but a watch strap. It cost £50

 

Already printed their terms and condition and the return policy

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But shouldn't we first write the letter to use the Short-term right to reject? So far it was all via the phone. If they don't respond or reject it again, then I can do the letter of claim but I first have to show that I gave them the opportunity to resolve this?

 

I have found this template.:

I have not received a reply to my letter dated 26 August 2015 regarding the faulty goods which I bought from you on 20 August 2015. This letter explained what is wrong with the goods and why I am entitled to a refund.

 

I am once again requesting a full refund of the purchase price of £85 on the grounds that the goods were not of satisfactory quality under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. I enclose a copy of the proof of purchase.

 

I would like a reply as soon as possible so that I know you have received this letter. If you don't agree to the refund, could you please then send me a detailed response saying why you don't agree.

 

To avoid taking court action, I am willing to use Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve this problem.

 

If I do not receive a satisfactory response from you within 30 days of the date of this letter, I intend to issue proceedings against you in the county court without further notice. This may increase your liability for costs.

 

I refer you to the Practice Direction on pre-action conduct under the Civil Procedure Rules, and in particular to paragraph 13-16 which sets out the sanctions the court may impose if you fail to comply with the Practice Direction.

 

I look forward to your acknowledgement.

 

Yours faithfully

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You can use the letter of claim as also the opportunity to sort it out – but within 14 days and with a very clear consequence if they do not.

 

In your letter of claim you should refer to the telephone call or telephone calls which you have had with them so far so you can say to them how disappointed you were in your telephone call of XXX date that they refuse to acknowledge your rights under the current consumer legislation and that they have only offered you a replacement or a credit. Explain to them that as they must surely know, your rights are to require and immediate refund including a refund of all associated losses and as they have refused to do this on the telephone you are now giving them a final opportunity to fulfil their consumer rights obligations but if they fail to do so then you will issue proceedings in 14 days and without any further notice.

 

Of course you don't need to send them this letter. Also, you can give them longer – 21 days for instance. However, you certainly need to put it in writing. If you have any more telephone calls with them then you should only do that after you have read our customer services guide and implemented the advice there.

 

If you want to take any action against them at all then simply write them a letter drawing their attention to your consumer rights but don't make the threat. However, I gather that the strap has cost you £85 which I think is a fair chunk of money. On top of that there would have been the delivery cost and also the cost of sending it back so you may well be looking at a claim for £95 or so. This is definitely worth the crack as far as I'm concerned – especially as your chances of success are extremely high. In fact your chances that you would lose this case would be remote.

 

Don't forget that although it would cost you £25 or something to bring the claim, you will get this back when they settle or when you win. If it goes to a hearing then you would have to pay – I think £100 or so for a hearing fee – and you would get that as well.

 

The chances that this company will really want to go to the trouble of going to court in order to defend a losing argument are pretty well zero. They are most likely to put up their hands as soon as they receive the court papers – but whatever, we will help your the way.

 

It's up to you now to decide what kind of action you want to take


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How about this:

 

Dear Madam/Sir,

During my phone call on the 24th of January 2019 you repeatedly refused to give me a refund for the faulty watch strap that I have returned to you and which you have received by signed delivery.

 

I give hereby notice that I make use of my short-term right to reject the faulty product in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act of 2015 Section 20.

This gives me the right to demand a full refund.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/20/enacted

 

The Terms of Conditions you have on your website and which you used to refuse a refund are not valid as they are not in-line with the applicable legislation (See above).

 

The Consumer Rights Act gives you 14 days to issue the refund. Should I not receive the refund by then, then I intend to issue proceedings against you in the county court.

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It sounds fine as long as you are not bluffing and you are prepared to carry out your threats. If you don't carry out your threat on the expiry of the deadline then you will lose credibility. If you are happy to go ahead then send the letter and spend the next 14 days registering on to the MoneyClaim online website and also reading up the steps in bringing a County Court claim on this website and elsewhere.

 

I would make it clear that when you issue proceedings it will be for the recovery of the money you have spent plus associated costs plus costs of the action plus interest


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What other options are there? There is no ombudsman that could be used (only works for companies that are registered with it I think). You could try something like BBC Watchdog but how likely is it that they take this up?

How much does it cost to do a claim? Can I claim expenses (e.g. for buying that Patricia Pearl's County Court guide)?

 

I probably will send the letter without the county court part first and when they don't respond or are not refunding it I will send a 'Letter before claim'.

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Yes there are no other options.

 

  • It's either the company's goodwill and sense of responsibility
  • the company's respect for the law
  • the company's concern for its reputation
  • the County Court

 

 

Send the initial letter as you suggest – but don't get dragged into protracted correspondence or end up simply waiting and hoping. I think that the statutory recommendation is that refund should normally be made within seven days.

 

The longer you allow it to drag on, the more fatigued you will be in the more likely you are to give up.


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