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Top 6 tips to avoid Mother’s Day mishaps

What to do if flowers turn up wilted or your Mother’s Day gift arrives faulty

Dried red roses

What if your Mother’s Day bouquet arrives sad or snapped? What if your gift arrives late or turns out to be faulty? Here’s our essential top six list of tips to help you mitigate common Mother’s Day mishaps.

1. If you’re ordering flowers

Half of the Which? followers on Twitter who responded to our poll said that they would be giving their mums flowers this Mother’s Day.

So, if your flowers arrive in a sorrowful state – wilting, with browning petals or leaves, or broken stems – the retailer is in breach of contract and you’re entitled to a full refund. This is because the retailer, not the courier, is responsible for the condition of the flowers until they are delivered to you.

Take some pictures of the damage to or poor condition of the flowers, as this will help support your complaint.

You also have the right to a full or partial refund if your flowers arrive late, don’t match the description or arrive with fewer flowers than the amount ordered.

2. If your gift doesn’t turn up

Giving mums a gift or voucher this Mother’s Day was the second most popular response to our poll, with 28% saying they would be doing so.

So, it’s worth knowing that if you paid for delivery by a certain time or date and your Mother’s Day gift turns up late or not at all, this is a breach of contract, and you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.

Any goods ordered online must be delivered within 30 days, unless otherwise agreed.

Read our guides on delivery rights to help you make a complaint if your parcel is late or doesn’t turn up.

3. If your Mother’s Day present is faulty

If the gift arrives and is not as described, of unsatisfactory quality or not fit for purpose, you can get your money back under the Consumer Rights Act.

Under these circumstances, it is classed as a faulty good, and you have the right to reject goods under this definition and get a full refund. But this right is limited to 30 days from the date of purchase of your product, so act fast where possible.

After the initial 30 days, you can’t demand a full refund in the first instance, but you do still have the right to a repair or replacement.

Use our free tool to ask the retailer for a refund, repair or replacement.

4. If you’re gifting an experience voucher

Experience days and gift vouchers to spend on goods and services have grown in popularity in recent years.

Whether you’re giving a voucher or receiving one, you should always check the terms written on it (or the packaging around it) and make the recipient of the voucher aware of them. The recipient will be bound by terms made at the time of purchase.

Expiry dates are allowed as long as the person buying the voucher was made aware of it at the time of purchase.

But if the terms were not prominent or brought to your attention, you may be able to argue that the terms are contrary to the requirements of good faith.

5. If you have a bad restaurant experience

Of the Which? Twitter followers who responded to our poll, 18% said they would be going out for a meal with their mums this Mother’s Day.

If you’re also planning on taking your mum to her favourite restaurant, remember that you have the right to expect food of satisfactory quality that is as described on the menu.

If the restaurant does not adhere to these Consumer Rights Act expectations, it will be in breach of contract, and you shouldn’t have to pay. If the food is top-notch but the service is substandard, you can also refuse to pay the service charge.

Read our step-by-step guides to restaurant complaints to get money off your bill for poor-quality food or find out more about your rights if you haven’t experienced reasonable care and skill from a restaurant’s service.

6. If flight delays ruin your city break

If you’re treating your mum to a city break this year, like 4% of our poll respondents, it’s important to know that if you encounter issues with flights, your legal position will depend on where you are flying from and to.

If you’re flying with an airline based in the EU, or with a non-EU-based airline flying from an EU airport, then you’re protected by the Denied Boarding Regulation.

If your flight delay is expected to be longer than a certain duration, the airline is obligated to offer you assistance.

Depending on the distance of your flight, and the length and reason for your delay, you could also be entitled to claim compensation.

For requirements and entitlements, take a look at our guide to flight delays.

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