Len Dastard tackles returning goods and the Distance Selling Act
Día bueno a usted señores! It is I, Len Dastard, masked consumer champion – a genuine litigation executive with a fictional wrestling alter-ego.
What is not fictional, however, is my love of capes. And women. A woman wearing a cape will cause me to go tuercas amor. You know how it is. Or don't.
We find ourselves this week looking again at the beast that is the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000.
Avid Bitterwallet reader David has been in contact following a purchase that was made on Amazon (market seller) for a pair of headphones. David received the headphones and then decided (after an inspection) that he no longer wanted these, so telephoned the seller to arrange a return and refund, within the cooling off period of seven working days.
The seller pointed David to his Terms and Conditions which state (I wont post these as it is very long winded) that the item can only be returned and refunded if it was in its original packaging and undamaged. They advised David that as he had opened the packaging it could not be returned. They said that they would only accept a return if the product was faulty.
We therefore sent the following letter to the seller:
ORDER NUMBER - *******
I write with reference to the above order number.
Please accept this as my written notice to you under regulation 10 of the Distance Selling Regulations 2000 to refund my purchase price upon me returning the goods to you.
My only duty to you is to take reasonable care of the goods whilst they are in my possession. Under the regulations I am able to open the packaging to reasonably examine the goods that I have ordered. You are therefore unable to refuse my refund due to me opening the package as long as I have not breached my duty to you to take reasonable care. I think it is clear that I have not breached my duty to you.
If you need to contact me then please do so on ***********.
The penultimate paragraph is important. As a consumer you have a duty to take reasonable care of the goods whilst they are in your possession. Opening a package to inspect the contents is certainly reasonable. Throwing it against a wall to check its durability is not reasonable.
It is worth bearing in mind that some items for hygiene reasons would not be able to be returned (unless you trying to return these items for one of the reasons set out in the Sale of Goods Act 1979). This is usually stated in the T&Cs of the individual retailer and would cover items such as some clothing, jewelery etc.
In this instance, Bitterwallet got a result for Dave; the seller has agreed to a refund.
What's that? You have more questions and queries for me, fake wrestling legend Len Dastard? Of course you have! Send your emails to [email protected]