Thursday, 14 March 2013

what can you do when retailers face financial difficulty?

click to go to Cambs County Council
With recent news of well-known high street retailers facing financial difficulty, you may be wondering what to do if goods you have paid for are not delivered or they are faulty and the company goes into administration.

Trading Standards have put together the following advice to help you to protect your money:

  • Credit card purchases

    When buying goods or services with a cash price of more than £100 but less than £30,000, it is advisable to pay for at least part of them with a credit card. That way, if the retailer is unable to deliver the goods or there is a fault with them, the card provider will be liable for the goods too.

  • Debit card purchases

    If you pay by debit card, the provider (bank) or Visa/Mastercard terms may help with any claims you may have. However, unlike a credit card, this differs between providers so you should be clear about what assistance you will get for non-delivery or faulty goods. The card agreement will state any terms you need to meet for claims - such as timescales for reporting a breach of contract by the retailer and any evidence you must provide. If you meet the terms for making a claim but are unhappy with the card provider’s response you should follow their own complaints procedure.

    For both credit and debit card purchases, if you remain dissatisfied with the card provider’s response you can raise the matter with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) who will decide if the complaint was valid and award damages if applicable.

  • Buying by PayPal

    The same procedure for claims for debit card payments also applies to PayPal payments as, although PayPal aren’t a bank, they are signed up to the FOS. Other money transfer services have similar terms to PayPal but may not be signed up to the FOS for dispute resolution. You are therefore advised to check their terms.

  • Cash or cheque

    If buying goods by cash or cheque then unfortunately this is a case of ‘buyer beware’.

Another common concern for consumers is the validity of gift cards or vouchers for a company that has entered administration. Unfortunately these are accepted only at the discretion of the administrators. There is no express right to use them - even though they are effectively cash.

If you require any further advice or information about any of the matters in this article please contact our partner, Citizens Advice Consumer Service, on 08454 040506. For business advice and support contact 0345 0455206.

Charlotte Wilson
Supporting Businesses and Communitites
Cambridgeshire County Council

click to go to Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards

Friday, 1 March 2013

The Chelsea Flower Show comes to Great Shelford

Sawston Rotary Club’s popular annual charity gardeners’ event will again be held at Scotsdales Garden Centre on Wednesday 20th March in aid of the Scotsdales Charity Foundation and Rotary charities.

The main attraction this year will be Andy McIndoe, Managing Director of Hilliers Nurseries who has won sixty-seven gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show. After a supper and wine Andy will be presenting ‘Behind the scenes at the Chelsea Flower Show’ - it promises to be a most enjoyable evening giving everyone an insight into this famous national event..

Scotsdales will be open from 6 p.m. and ticket holders will be able to shop at leisure and receive a 10% discount off their purchases. A buffet supper and glass of wine will be served in the restaurant from 6.30 to 7.30 p.m. and Andy’s talk will start at 8 p.m. Scotsdales horticultural experts will be available to answer your gardening questions throughout the evening.

Tickets for the event cost just £13 and are available at Scotsdales or by calling Rotarian Phil Cooper on 01223 565260. Tickets are limited so booking is recommended. Any remaining tickets will be on sale at the door.

Simon Lake, President of the Rotary club says ‘this annual charity event always attracts a good turnout and provides a friendly shopping environment, a good meal, glass of wine and an excellent speaker. Thanks to the support of Scotsdales we are able to raise substantial funds for very worthwhile charities’.

Tony Collett
Public Relations Officer
Rotary Club of Sawston District