Refund fight for pensioner after flatpack table troubles

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But it is also true that had she done a quick check of the product details and returns conditions before ordering, all the worry might have been avoided anyway. The handy small table, costing £49.99, that caught Rita Simmonds’s eye was in the catalogue sent to her from retailer EasyLife, a company she had purchased from very happily several times previously.

Most furniture comes as in flatpacks these days. Details in EasyLife’s catalogue states this, but unfortunately Rita only realised that when it was delivered.

++ If you’ve been affected by this issue or feel you’ve been a victim of injustice, please contact consumer and small business champion Maisha Frost on maisha.frost@express.co.uk ++

Aged 84 and on her own, she felt putting it together was beyond her so she sent it back in its packaging, paying £20 via her local Post Office within the 14 days allowed.

“It was heavy for me to take to the counter. I don’t have a car but I managed it and made sure to keep the receipt,” she told Crusader.

When the refund did not appear in her account, however, emails plus the receipt went to and fro with EasyLife for several weeks.

It then stated it had not received the goods.

Crusader took up the matter, checking with Royal Mail which confirmed both delivery and the name of its courier.

This did the trick and Rita is relieved that EasyLife says it is now processing the refund.

Consumer Contracts Regulations stipulate that online customers must cover the cost of returning goods, although many retailers offer free labels.

There are also exceptions to returns of items that are not faulty.

These include bespoke, perishable and assembled ones, so flatpacks must remain in pieces, untouched and in the packaging.

Crusader did ask EasyLife to return Rita’s postage costs as a goodwill gesture given the difficulties she had convincing them she had sent back the table.

But it has stuck to its rules and declined.

(Rita’s name has been changed.)

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