Greetings one and all
I am making this blog post as I am looking for any advice one can give on the legalities.
OK on the 1st June 2015 on my mum in laws instruction I ordered a hospital grade waterproof mattress she could not deal with it due to having Alzheimer’s Disease and being totally incontinent and thus the urgent need for a new mattress that was up to the job
I found one on a website called Furniture 24/7 and as it said in stock went ahead and ordered and also being pleased it was free delivery and a 48 hour turnaround.
So all was great or so we thought as from then it went downhill steeply we waited and waited until the 8th June 2015 when I decided to call them on my mum in laws behalf noting that the website still listed the item still in stock and me being aware of my 14 day cooling off period under distance selling regulations
I feed a load of baloney and basically fobbed off so told them that I wanted a refund under Distance Selling Regulations with the money paid back to my mum in laws debit card.
This refund never materialised so they have already broken the distance selling regulations so I emailed them to try and find out what was going on after doing a bit of research on this rough company and to be honest was shocked by what I found on customer review sites and turns out I am not isolated and even more important this company appears to be trading illegally as the company has been dissolved so is fraud
It is now the 20th July 2015 and way passed the 30 days they are given to supply in stock items but more importantly I requested a refund on the 8th day after I made an implied contract with the company to supply the goods so I think the law is on my side however what my next cause of action is where I need the help
Here is the review site which in the main is terrible and do wish I read this before, as you can see from the first review people are still being ripped off and it goes back some way too with one even issuing court proceedings and getting nowhere.
They do need exposing however I think but I am open to options
Should I contact “Don’t get done, Get Dom via Flame TV?
Should I write to Directors although going by the reviews they are not any help either
Should I go to FOS or Retail and/or Furniture Ombudsman
Would the police be interested as they are trading illegally
Are their any other options you can think off that could assist in getting my elderly disabled mum in laws money back so she can get the goods elsewhere as she cannot afford to payout again and her current memory foam mattress is knackered and uncomfortable
There parent company is Multi Commerce International Ltd
This is a rough company and they need the wrath of the law against them to stop what they are doing so any help or advice is greatly appreciated.
After getting some very good advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service online I wrote to them in the first immediate instance via email to one of the directors I was also going to send them a recorded letter via royal mail but was not needed as received refund before that was sent. I am pleased to say they caved in very swiftly and credited my mums visa debit card with the money owed
Citizens Advice Consumer Service
Dear Mr Carter,
Thank you for your enquiry to the Citizens Advice consumer service dated 21/07/15. Your reference number for this case is AW- 12953419 and it would be helpful if you could quote this in any future contact with our service regarding this issue.
We understand from your email that you have ordered a mattress online for mother in law and the company has not delivered the mattress.
The trader’s website says next day delivery and items in stock but you feel the trader’s actions are misleading.
Your rights and obligations:
When a consumer enters into a contract with a trader by means of a distance communication (telephone, internet, mail order etc.) without any prior face to face negotiations, they will generally have cancellation rights under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. These regulations came in to effect on 13th June 2014, and the cancellation, or ‘cooling off period’, starts when the contract is entered in to and generally ends at the end of the 14th day from the day after the goods are received; or the consumers’ cancellation rights have been received in a durable form; such as letter, email etc.
These regulations would be applicable to your order rather than the Distance Selling Regulations. You would also retain the right to cancel the order before delivery and the trader would have 14 days from the date of cancellation to refund your money.
In addition, before and after you placed the order the regulations oblige a trader to provide the consumer with full details of what they have agreed to and what their cancellation rights are, and under what circumstances they can cancel the purchase for a refund in writing.
If no such information has been provided; the consumer could hold the trader in breach of contract and pursue them for full refund. Please note any information on a website would not be the same as information provided in a durable form. This is because information published on a website could be edited at any stage.
You can read more about the regulations here.
Your next steps:
Bearing in mind the information detailed above; if you wish to pursue a civil claim further, you should consider sending the trader a recorded delivery letter, outlining everything to date, and giving a deadline to resolve the matter within a set period of time (e.g. 14 days). Make it very clear what you expect from the trader; why and what steps you will consider taking should they fail to comply with your request. It is also worth enclosing copies of any documentation that would help you substantiate your claim and retaining copies of everything sent, for your records.
You can find guidance for how to set out your letter on our website.
When using the template letters it is important that you follow the online instructions carefully. In addition, once the letter has been generated it may also require further editing, in order to make it clear to the trader what the nature of your complaint is.
The reason we suggest sending the trader a letter is just in case you are unable to reach an amicable resolution. Having a record of your correspondence would help you demonstrate how and when you attempted to resolve the dispute yourself, should you need to escalate your claim.
In addition, sending letters by recorded delivery would allow you to use the ‘Recorded Signed For’ label the post office will supply you with to confirm that the trader has received the letter.
You could also try to obtain a refund from your debit card issuer. To clarify, you may be able to seek a refund through the card issuer if they have a ‘chargeback’ scheme. Therefore, it would be advisable to submit a claim in writing to the bank, specifically mentioning the ‘chargeback’ scheme, and ask that the matter is resolved in a timely manner. You should be aware that the card issuer would not have any legal obligation to comply with such a request, but some consumers affected by similar events have achieved a successful outcome by approaching their card issuer in the past. You can read more about chargeback here.
As the trader’s actions could be considered a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the information you have provided will be passed to Trading Standards for further consideration. The case details will also be placed on a central data base that can be accessed by all the other Trading Standards throughout the UK.
Although we work closely with Trading Standards, we are a separate organisation. As such, we pass complaints of this nature to Trading Standards for them to evaluate whether or not action can or should be taken. Individual complaints do not necessarily lead to immediate enforcement action as sometimes a number of complaints are needed to take effective action. The information is, however, valuable intelligence allowing Trading Standards to properly prioritize their activities.
In general, Trading Standards will only contact you or this service if they need further information.
We would also like to request further information from you:
• Did the company provide you with all the important purchase information including your right to cancel in writing when you ordered the mattress?
You can provide this information by return email or by using the telephone number detailed below quoting your case reference number.
If you want to discuss this case further, please do not hesitate to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service by return email or on 03454 04 05 06 quoting the case reference number.
Thank you for your enquiry.
Citizens Advice consumer service
My letter to a director at parent company
Ms Susan Greenman
Multi Commerce International Ltd
Trading as Furniture 24/7
4th August 2015
Order Number: 10187863
The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
Dear Ms Greenman
On the 1st June 2015 I entered into a contract with you which you accepted by taking payment of £199.99 being the full cost to supply 1 x 3ft Single Hospital Grade Waterproof Mattress.
Your website stated the above goods as being in stock for next day delivery that delivery never happened so to give you the benefit of doubt I waited a week before contacted after sales.
The deliver still did not materialise so on the 8th of June 2015 I phoned and sent an email requesting a full refund with 14 days as the law states you must refund by, that refund never materialised either
You had an absolute maximum of 30 days to supply the goods and that has well and truly passed too with no sign of a refund forthcoming.
You have made no attempt at all to contact me with updates on progress failed to supply me with my rights as the law states you must do even my wife phoning to plead with you to return the money you have wrongly gained did not resolve matters.
You are now in breach of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 for not supplying the information the law says you must do and not respecting my cancellation rights and I now formally request a refund in full of £199.99 being the cost paid to you under a contract that was not honoured.
I have been in contact with the Citizens Advice Consumer Service to seek advice and my case number is AW- 12953419 they have informed me that the complaint will be forwarded to both Hampshire and Brent & Harrow Trading Standards for further consideration and thus I will keep both the CAB and Trading Standards informed of any progress by you but suffix to say a swift refund by you will close matters
If a refund is not forthcoming you will leave me with no other option than to contact a solicitor for them to send you a letter before action were a court claim will be set in motion.
Attached copy of your receipt and reply from Citizens Advice Consumer Service
Sent via Royal Mail Special Delivery and Email
Seems there knowledge of trading standards on their back and my threat of further action swung it and my use of the words rough company stands so please avoid this company as they do not deserve your business