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Bought a dress 3 months ago that is defective and didn't keep a receipt.... what are my rights?

(12 Posts)
LaCerbiatta Thu 21-Jun-07 11:11:13

Bought a dress from Coast, in Debenhams, 3 months ago to take to a wedding 2 weeks ago. The dress had 70% off but looked ok and had no indication of any defects. When I looked at it again for the wedding I noticed 2 little wholes, one on each sleeve. I assumed I was careless when putting it away and it got caught in something. Now, after wearing it once I can see at least 6 wholes and other 'almost wholes'. I didn't keep a receipt and payed with a debit card.

Is there anything I can do about it? I realise it's been a long time and it has been worn but it didn't say 'disposable'. It doesn't seem right that I now have to throw it away because the material is defective...

Any ideas very much appreciated! Thanks

Wisteria Thu 21-Jun-07 12:40:20

How annoying, I'd be gutted!

Not a legal expert but if you take it back with your bank statement you can prove proof of purchase which should suffice in place of receipt, I did this with a tv from Sainsbury's lately. I am not sure whether legally they have to exchange though, given it was reduced.

Most shops on the more expensive side are quite reasonable with things like this if your attitude when you go in is more upset than angry!

LaCerbiatta Thu 21-Jun-07 12:42:49

I'm actually more worried about the fact that I've worn it once and it has been 3 months.....

sweetheart Thu 21-Jun-07 12:46:22

I'm not sure of the legal situation but if you take it back with proof of purchase they will probably offer you an exchange. They'll probably only give you the last sale price though and it may have been reduced further. Try their website for the returns policy - oh and I wouldn't mention that you wore it - it was clearly faulty before that!

WigWamBam Thu 21-Jun-07 12:47:56

I can't see them legally having to replace or refund a worn dress which you bought three months ago, but they may be willing to change it as a good-will gesture - it's worth a try. Give them a ring and see what they say.

The last time I bought something in a sale at Debenhams they told me that I wouldn't be able to get a refund for sale goods - it would be replacement only. That might also affect what you would be able to get from them.

sweetheart Thu 21-Jun-07 12:48:24

the website doesn't say anything about faulty items. You could try ringing them first and see what they say

Wisteria Thu 21-Jun-07 12:53:43

Technically, if during normal wear it was falling apart (as it sounds) then it is not 'fit for purpose'.
Definitely try to go for the goodwill gesture - after all it is coast; not a cheapo shop! Shouldn't matter about the 3 months as you'd only worn it once and no one checks things before they put them away, do they?
I lost a heel from a pair of next boots and took them back 8 months after (and I'd worn them to death, literally), they replaced them with a brand new pair immediately, couldn't believe it! It's worth a try

WigWamBam Thu 21-Jun-07 13:00:55

I suspect that, even if it's not fit for purpose, the three months matters if they have a 28 day returns policy.

You'll only find out if you ask them, though!

Jojay Thu 21-Jun-07 13:17:39

I work for Debenhams so know the answer to this!!

For items reduced by 50 % or more, we offer exchanges only. However, for faulty items the law is different, and if an item is not fit for the purpose, they will give you a full refund within a 'reasonable' timeframe - usually 6 months for clothes.

They will be able to trace your transaction as you paid with a debit card - #I would ask them to do this if they query the length of time you've had it.

Your difficulty will be proving that the item was damaged when you bought it, and also, proving that you've only worn it once in the 3 months you've had it, and therefore it is not down to reasonable wear and tear.

My advice, (from experience and purely personal, not Debs official policy, before I get into trouble!!), is not to go in with all guns blazing (it's tempting to dig our heels in with people who are rude to us.....)Go to the Coast department and explain what has happened, how disappointed you were to buy such a reputable brand and find it did not perform blah blah, and if you have no luck there, ask to see the Debenhams Sales Manager for Womenswear. Coast is a concession - shop within a shop, and a seperate company with their own staff.

Another thing, you must to back to a store that stocks Coast - not every store does.

On a brighter note the sale starts this week, so if you settle for a gift card, you can always pick up some bargains for your lo on the gorgeous kidswear dept!!!

LIZS Thu 21-Jun-07 13:22:37

Agree, take the bank statement along with the transaction as proof of purchase.

LaCerbiatta Thu 21-Jun-07 13:31:45

Thank you SO much everyone! Will go there today and I'll let you know how it went.

LaCerbiatta Sat 23-Jun-07 21:50:21

Update: went to debenhams today and got a gift card with the money I paid for the dress! The lady was really nice and understanding and there was no discussion.
Thank you all for the advice!

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