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Agent Provocateur - exchange policy problems

(4 Posts)
Fiolondon Wed 14-Sep-11 12:53:21


I don't know whether this is a money or a legal problem so I will cross post to see!

My DH bought me some fabulous lingerie from Agent Provocateur in Soho. This was an anniversary present and was rather out of character - he's been threatening to treat me to some nice pants for years. Anyway he decided I was having a tough time with DC2 (7 months) and thought he would treat me. Trouble is that he treated me to the tune of £255.....

Ok so, you are probably wondering what the issue is. Sounds good doesn't it?
Yes - except I'm breastfeeding and I'm pretty pi**ed off about the thought of spending that much on some stuff which will not fit next year. £255 is a big deal to spend on pants in my world!

He said - no problem - I'll take them back and we can get a gift voucher or an exchange. He was told by the assistant - they presumably have to exchange 95% of the stuff bought by men as they will rarely get the size right - It's difficult enough knowing sizes between manufacturers for us.

However when he came home he had a "gift voucher" that had a 6 month time limit on it. In my eyes that is actually a "credit note" and it represents the rock bottom of customer service offerings.

So I emailed them to explain that because of breastfeeding it would be the middle of next year before my figure would be sorted and I would be in a position to buy lingerie. They said the could extend to the end of March 2012 which is their financial year end. I've just emailed to ask whether they will refund me in that case as their extension is still useless to me.

I'm not happy. I'm sure they will say that they have done their statutory duty but I can't help thinking that my husband was misled when he made the official purchase. I don't think he would have bought them if told it was a credit note rather than a gift voucher as they are different things and the latter is generally without a time limit. I also feel that I don't want to spend any money with them if they treat their customers this way.

I'm tempted to threaten them with the small claims court but I've heard it is actually difficult to get them to pay out even if the claim goes in your favour!

What are my options?

Help me please!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 14-Sep-11 15:05:42

I'm surprised that they wouldn't offer a full refund on unused goods. However, if he bought them on credit card, couldn't he get a full refund that way?

emsyj Wed 14-Sep-11 15:10:16

They don't have to offer you a refund or exchange if there is nothing wrong with the goods. Here, the goods are as they were when your DH chose them - they're not faulty, they just aren't particularly suited to you. Sadly, although it is crap customer service, they would be within their rights to offer absolutely nothing - they are going beyond their statutory obligations by offering a credit note valid for 6 months.

If you take them to the small claims court, you need a cause of action and I'm afraid as far as I can see you don't have one (rubbish as that is). If they won't refund you, I would exchange for something that you can use now (chemise? nightwear?)

Fiolondon Wed 14-Sep-11 20:35:46

I don't think I'll be buying anything from them after this - not that I spend this much on pants normally. So anyway I did my best attempt at charming the manager on the phone today and she has agreed to let me buy another gift voucher with the current gift voucher in 6 months time! A bit of a hassle, but a lot better than having posh pants that don't fit!
Thanks for your help

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