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Can I take Marks and Spencers to the small claims court?

(29 Posts)
stmichaelbrokemymirror Wed 15-Nov-17 21:55:29

Sorry if this is long.
I bought 2 pieces of furniture from M&S taking advantage of a 'buy 2 save 20%' offer. One of the items was a large mirror so we asked a joiner to hang it.

When the joiner unwrapped the mirror (16 days after delivery) he noticed that it was chipped.The mirror was very well packaged (with foam) and enclosed in a box, so there was no chance that the damage had occurred in our possession. Additionally the unpacked mirror looked worn around the edges - it looked like a seconds item. We had bought another item from the same range which looked brand new.

I phoned M&S expecting them to offer to replace it, but because it was bought on a 2 for 20% offer it counted as a sale item, with 14 days to return, so we had missed the window by 2 days.

We waited several weeks for M&S to send a technician to look at it. The technician noticed that there was a large scratch down the side that we hadn't even seen. M&S have now informed us that they aren't replacing the mirror.

On looking for their complaints dept - they don't seem to have one. Their website refers unsatisfied customers to the EU’s Online Dispute Resolution Platform.

What are my chances of taking them to the small claims court? We paid a joiner to fit the mirror who obviously wasn't able to do so. My husband had to take 2 hours from work to wait for the technician, and we now have a mirror which cost nearly £200 which is damaged.

prh47bridge Thu 16-Nov-17 00:15:57

As the mirror is less than 6 months old it is assumed that any problems were present when it was purchased. If M&S want to argue that you damaged the mirror it will be up to them to prove it. You should tell M&S that you are rejecting the mirror and want your money back. If they refuse you should send a letter before action giving them a deadline to refund your money and saying that you will take legal action if they don't. Once the deadline is passed you can start a claim.

Your rights are not affected by the fact you bought the mirror in a sale. Based on what you have written I struggle to see how M&S could defend the case should it end up in court. I doubt you will be able to recover your other losses but you should be able to get back the cost of the mirror.

stmichaelbrokemymirror Thu 16-Nov-17 08:18:20

Thanks that's really helpful

Crumbs1 Thu 16-Nov-17 08:21:37

Yes, go back with a comment about it not being fit for purpose under Sale of Goods Act. Tell them you will go to court but hopefully a little persistence will pay off and you won’t have to.

They should be taken to court over their Sparks card. What an irritating piece of data collection that is.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Thu 16-Nov-17 08:24:42

Re other losses.
I bought some paint effect wallpaper from Marks and Spencer and paid decorator to hang it. All rolls had same batch number. Once he had done an entire wall (3 rolls) and it had dried, it was quite clear that the rolls didn't match.
Marks replaced wallpaper and paid for decorator to remove old stuff and hang new paper

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Thu 16-Nov-17 08:25:52

I think the 14 days is if you change your mind.
Different if item is not of merchantable quantity

fucksakefay Thu 16-Nov-17 08:26:14

Your joiner could also send a supporting email confirming the damage

SingaSong12 Thu 16-Nov-17 08:29:19

Citizens Advice website has a good section on Consumer issues. You have 6 years to start a small claim. As long as it is free it's well worth looking at arbitration, though check whether by doing that you are agreeing to stick with the decision and not go to court.

SingaSong12 Thu 16-Nov-17 08:29:45

Sorry forgot link

MyVisionsComeFromSoup Thu 16-Nov-17 08:34:34

not relevant to Marks & Spencers, but I took Toys R Us to the small claims court many years ago (for non delivery of goods), they admitted liability, but then didn't pay up. So I got bailiffs sent out to their head office. Cheque was in the post that day grin.

prh47bridge Thu 16-Nov-17 08:45:16

not being fit for purpose under Sale of Goods Act

The Sale of Goods Act has been replaced by the Consumer Rights Act.

LittleWitch Thu 16-Nov-17 08:48:46

My friend had exactly the same problem, but with a table. She went to small claims and won, but incredibly it did actually go to a hearing and they did send a lawyer.

stmichaelbrokemymirror Thu 16-Nov-17 18:40:54

I can't believe that they sent a lawyer to the small claims court over a table! shock That says everything about their customer care.

Thankyou for all the advice. smile

gruntley123 Sat 18-Nov-17 11:38:47

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

stmichaelbrokemymirror Sat 18-Nov-17 18:38:01


OutwardBound2016 Sat 18-Nov-17 18:46:38

We brought some furniture for DD’s room a few years ago with the multibuy discount. Around a year after I noticed one piece has chipped, contacted M&S, they sent round an independent technician who asked what I wanted (a replacement), he contacted M&S and I had a new one within a week. Please don’t be fobbed off, I think someone has misinformed you. Good luck OP

Sweetpotatoaddict Sat 18-Nov-17 18:53:02

That's crazy! I bought a cotbed from them for around £200 in the sale, a year down the line a phonecall saying that there was a recall and it required side rails replaced, they arranged fitting at a time convenient and gave me £100 in vouchers, since then I've thought their customer service was pretty good. Obviously not given your situation op. Hope you get it resolved.

MidLifeCrisis2017 Sat 18-Nov-17 18:59:58

This is when a company’s Twitter or Facebook page is invaluable

stmichaelbrokemymirror Tue 21-Nov-17 21:31:01

Thank you everybody.
The technician who came out confirmed in their report that the mirror was damaged, however their email states, ' The technician has confirmed there is no evidence of a manufacturing fault with your product.'

So are they suggesting that we have damaged it?

SisyphusDad Tue 21-Nov-17 21:40:20

Sounds like weasel words. "No evidence of a manufacturing fault." OK, maybe. But what about damage caused when packing it for sale or dispatch?

babyturtles Tue 21-Nov-17 21:42:37

Wow I'm so surprised to hear this about M&S.

Won't be buying furniture from them ever!

somethingDifferent38 Tue 21-Nov-17 21:45:06

They're certainly being obtuse! Who knows what they mean with that statement, but the law doesn't say you have to show there was a manufacturing fault, so it doesn't really matter.
I have found them quite rude on several occasions....bought a blouse once, then found the shoulder was sewn with a hole in the seam, very obviously a manufacturing fault; I took it back, and the woman silently refunded my money; I said that I had wanted to exchange it, and she said i'd have to buy it again, that was my problem. No regret that there was a fault and I had had to drive back - there were huge queues (just before Xmas), so I just got a replacement in another shop!
IMO, they are rather complacent, and seems to think customers are lucky to shop there hmm

fucksakefay Tue 21-Nov-17 21:50:03

M and S don't seem to have appreciated your case is that it was damaged when received probably due to bad packaging NOT a manufacturing fault and therefore appear to be looking for evidence of the wrong thing. I think you need to say this to them very clearly and point out that you have a third party witness that can give evidence that it was damaged on receipt. I'd write again with a letter of support from the joiner confirming what you say.

fucksakefay Tue 21-Nov-17 21:50:35

Link them to this thread on twitter/ Facebook?

stmichaelbrokemymirror Tue 21-Nov-17 22:15:31

Thanks for all the advice. I've sent another message using some of the points above so I will wait and see what they say.

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