A Jersey shopper who was refused a refund for £500-worth of goods at a local designer store is warning others not to make the same mistake.
Despite giving customers 28 days to return the same products from its online store, Ruth Brooks was shocked to discover that the recently-opened Jersey premises of Flannels would only give store credit when the items were returned - something she said she has "no use for".
Ruth went into Flannels last week to buy a present for her partner's birthday and chose a jumper and a pair of shoes, totalling just over £500.
"I wasn’t told at the time about the returns policy," she explained.
Pictured: When Ruth took to social media to warn other potential buyers of the shop's policy, she received numerous sympathetic comments, while others were outraged to learn that returns weren't a legal obligation.
On receiving the gift, Ruth's partner discovered that the shoes were the wrong size and he wasn't quite sure about the jumper.
Ruth said: "We took the items in perfect condition with the receipts after seeing on the Flannels website that if you buy online and return, you would receive a full refund."
However, in the local Flannels store, Ruth was refused a refund and was only offered an exchange or store credit instead.
Pictured: Flannels' website says that shoppers have 28 days to return online orders from the date of delivery but, despite offering many of the same products, the rules differ in store.
"They pointed out their returns policy which was unclearly written on a transparent sign to the side of the till," said Ruth. "I’m vision-impaired and struggled to read the sign even after it was pointed out to me."
She added: "The returns policy is also on the receipt but at that point it’s too late as I would’ve already purchased the item! Had I known about the policy, I wouldn’t have bought the items in the first place."
After getting in touch with Trading Standards, Ruth discovered that retailers are under no legal obligation to exchange items which are of satisfactory quality.
The little-known rule is explained on Trading Standards' website as follows: "The law does not give you any rights if it is you that has changed your mind or made the wrong choices. This is why it is really important to check the shop's returns policy before you buy, and always keep the receipt."
"I think it’s really difficult for consumers when we barely have any rights under Jersey consumer law - no wonder people are buying online!" said Ruth.
Pictured: Flannels has attracted a lot of attention since opening in Jersey at the end of last year, with the store's high prices being a hot topic of conversation.
Now, she is determined to warn other potential buyers of the rule to ensure that they do not make the same mistake, particularly in such an expensive shop.
"I suppose it’s my mistake," Ruth admitted. "I just don’t want anyone else to go through the same! I’m now stuck with £500 store credit for Flannels that I have no use for."
You can read more about shoppers' rights under the law HERE.
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