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Trouble with Aspinal - can I insist on getting my money back

(52 Posts)
fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:33:59

I am not sure where to put this, I thought here would reach people who shop for handbags online and perhaps live to regret it

I bought a purple Barbarella handbag online (perhaps in the evening and after a glass or two) from AspinalOfLondon. Anyway I used money that was a gift and was delighted to see it was reduced.

It arrived - and the gold was too There was also lots of it. I decided to return it and get something that was a little less brash. I posted it back (at enormous cost) and requested a refund. A few days later I got an email explaining their terms and conditions (which I do not recall seeing) stated the Sale goods could only be returned in exchange for a credit on an Aspinal account. I was horrified, felt quite sick in fact sad

I responded explaining the money was a gift and there was no way I could add another 300 pounds to purchase a handbag. I asked very nicely if they would consider refunding the pennies (well pounds and lots of them actually).
Another response - no.

I was pretty sure that online shopping entitled you to a 7 day cooling off period (it was returned the same day as arrival). I alos thought that terms and conditions could not reduce your legal rights - even if the goods were at a reduced price.

I have googled and can't see anything that suggests I was wrong. Can anyone tell me? What should I do? I honestly thought this was the case and it never crossed my mind that a company like Aspinal would renege on this. So much did I have faith in this reputable (ha) organisation I used a debit card because the gift was in my current account.

I would love to hear if anyone has has problems with Aspinal but even more I love to find out how to deal with this. I really do not want anything cheaper from their range - I want to buy a handbag!

CashmereHoodlum Thu 21-Mar-13 21:36:32

You should be entitled to a refund under the distance selling regulations.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 21-Mar-13 21:38:05

Distance selling regulations are your friend

TeamEdward Thu 21-Mar-13 21:39:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 21:40:23

I think the issue may be that in order to return goods under the Distance Selling Regulations, their terms and conditions would normally require you to make it clear that you are returning the goods in accordance with those regulations and within the 7 working day cooling off period, as opposed to just a normal return. You need to check what their terms and conditions state or post an extract here and I will check it for you.

fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:45:00

I can't even find them on the site now! AspinalOfLondon if anyone less stressed than I would take a look. It was returned well within the seven days but I did not write anything about the Regs, just competed the form within the parcel. I am relieved you all think the same re seven days. I was beginning to doubt myself even tho I have googled endlessly all day.

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 21:46:52

I remember having an issue with Joules whereby they said I would be liable for postage of returns during a sale period. So I emailed to state I was cancelling the contract in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations so my initial P&P was refunded.

It's a little known fact that you can require the refund of your P&P if you cancel the contract as opposed to just doing a standard return. Extract from BBC article below - we need to get this information out there Q

"A customer returning goods within seven working days is entitled to a full refund and the initial delivery charge, under the Distance Selling Regulations.

Next told the BBC it would change its policy from the start of August.

The Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) are legally binding rules and were introduced in 2000 to protect customers who, unlike High Street shoppers, are unable to inspect goods before they buy them.

Even if you simply inform a company that you wish to return the goods within the seven working days, you should get a refund of the initial delivery costs."

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 21:51:14

Well, I've had a look on their website, at their terms and returns policy and can't see any mention of this policy. You need to ask them where on their website it says this as these terms need to be visible to you before you enter the contract or else they aren't part of the contract and you are well protected by consumer law.

fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:52:21

Can I do anything as I did not state the seven day thing? Or have I totally buggered this up! Have re registered by the way, i could not get in on my old account as kept getting password wrong to name change. I could not get reset link to work. So now have a new account in order to name change because the gift was from someone who knew my old name. My husband actually! I have not dared to confess.

Can you tell this is getting to me?

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 21:54:33

Just email them and state that you were cancelling the contract under the Distance Selling Regulations. Take it a step at a time, chill - you will get what you want in the end I think

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 21-Mar-13 21:55:09

Their own website states this in their Frequently Asked Questions bit (about halfway down the page)

Q. Can I return an item after I receive it?

A. In the event you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you can choose to exchange for either an alternative item or receive a refund less the cost of shipping and gift boxes

All items must be returned within 30 days of delivery.

Simply fill out the Returns Note (download one here) making a note of the item code and colour you would like to receive instead or the reason for requesting a refund and return to the address below.

If you require a refund on the item please provide us with a current credit or debit card number and any other information requested on the Returns Note.

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 21:55:25

I remember emailing Joules with links to threads from Mumsnet about their terrible customer service!

Fayrazzled Thu 21-Mar-13 21:55:43

Yes, the distance selling regs should apply and you should quote them chapter and worse. I think it is very bad practise that their terms and conditions on the website don't mention the DSR. Having had a quick look at their website, it appears they offer a 30 day guarantee enabling an exchange or refund. It doesn't say it is limited for sale items. Buried a little deeper, there is some text stating items within the online sale must be returned within 14 days.

I would respond to them saying the above and threatening legal action unless you are refunded the same day. Good luck.

fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:56:04

If it says about a credit note somewhere I did not spot it does that hold more weight than the Regs? Will it matter that I only completed the enclosed return form rather than adding a note?

And yes, this info really needs spreading.

Fayrazzled Thu 21-Mar-13 21:56:40

Chapter and verse even.

MerryMingeWhingesAgain Thu 21-Mar-13 21:58:30

No the regulations are statutory, it trumps any of their own policies. But you must have returned within 7 days. Tell them you are cancelling as per the DSR and you expect a full refund in the same way you paid.

Fayrazzled Thu 21-Mar-13 21:59:00

I think the DSR are the most important thing here, but even if the regs didn't apply (which they do) arguably the contract you entered into with them based on the Ts and Cs on their website indicates you can return for a refund within 30 days (or 14 if online sale).

Their legal stuff on the website is shambolically written though. Can you take some screenshots in case you need them later?

fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 21:59:11

Ok. I will compose an email and send tomorrow.

Thank you all so much for taking time to inform and reassure me. I will let you all know what happens.

Right, now how can I get into old account to see what threads I am on...not a serious question btw. I am sure I will work that one out! Just feeling so worried. What a plonker to spend more than £200 on a handbag that is horrid!

fuckitybollocks Thu 21-Mar-13 22:00:35

Now I am backin plonker mode. Am using ipad, does anyone know how to take screen shots? What should I take?

suebfg Thu 21-Mar-13 22:01:12

You should get a full refund. The only thing in question might be the delivery charges and any return postage you have paid. But just email them like I've said and make it clear that you were cancelling the contract in accordance with the Distance Selling Regulations. Joules gave in after that and I hope it works for you toosmile

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 21-Mar-13 22:04:48

The BBC link I posted further up has template letters on to help you get a refund if it helps.

justasecond Thu 21-Mar-13 22:08:47

Don't worry OP you will get your money back. They have to adhere to the DSR which clearly state you are entitled to your money back inc the original postage costs. If you don't get anywhere call trading standards, they are very helpful.

Pseudonymity Thu 21-Mar-13 23:04:24

Some companies breach distance selling regulations. American Apparel is another one - they don't allow returns of sale items. When you've bought something online you haven't seen the goods so are always entitled to refund. That's my understanding, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

faustina Fri 22-Mar-13 06:47:49

Crumpet did this to me once - quoted their special sale conditions. I called Trading standards and they told me how to draft a letter/email. Got my money back. I hate it when companies - especially those you'd think would want to keep their good reputation - try to rip people off. You will get your money back

Sleepyfergus Fri 22-Mar-13 06:58:27

Marking place to see the outcome. Good luck OP, I didn't understand DSR myself so have been reading with interest!

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