Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

How to avoid five date disasters

Tips on how to navigate Valentine’s Day fiascos

Valentine’s Day can be tricky enough without having to contend with faulty gifts, cancelled bookings and delayed transport.  

So we’ve put together our top five consumer rights tips on how to navigate the day of love and keep calm in the face of frustrating hiccups.

 4 Date disaster tips-news story 

Gift you bought isn’t delivered on time

If you’ve bought a gift online and it arrives late or doesn’t turn up, you’re protected under the Distance Selling Regulations.

It can be a good idea to pay extra for a guaranteed delivery date to ensure your purchase arrives in time. If it doesn’t, this is a breach of contract and the seller, not the delivery company, is accountable.

If you paid for an estimated delivery, your rights are more limited but goods must still be delivered within a ‘reasonable time’.

Gift you bought turns out to be faulty  

Do not fear, the Sale of Goods Act is here. If you’ve bought a gift that turns out to be faulty, it’s the retailer and not the manufacturer who is responsible.

You are legally entitled to get your money back or you can have the item repaired or replaced.

Your restaurant booking is cancelled

Speaking to the restaurant manager and explaining your dissatisfaction often results in the honouring of your booking, perhaps at a slightly different time.

But if a restaurant fails to honour your booking, you may be able to claim breach of contract and seek compensation, especially if the booking is for a special occasion.

Your train is cancelled due to adverse weather  

With the current weather disruptions and recent transport strikes you may be hard pressed to catch a train that’s running on time, if at all.

Leaving extra time to get to your destination is a given, but you shouldn’t be left out of pocket.

You can claim compensation for train delays and cancellations. As a general guide, around half of UK train companies will refund 50% of your ticket for a delay of 30 minutes or more.   

Your restaurant meal isn’t up to scratch

If you’re served food that doesn’t match its description, is of poor quality, or hasn’t been prepared with reasonable skill, don’t put up with it.

Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act you have the right to expect food of satisfactory quality which is ‘as described’ on the menu.

If it’s not, the restaurant is in breach of contract and you shouldn’t have to pay for it.

More on this…

  • Don’t be left in the dark. Know your consumer rights
  • Take action with our extensive range of template letters
  • Don’t be phased by regulations – we can guide you through
Back to top