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Six top tips to fix a Mother’s Day misery

While it might be tricky to save the day, here are some top tips to get your money back

Six top tips to fix a Mother’s Day misery

Your mum deserves the best. But if her flowers are a blooming disaster, her gift goes wrong or the bubbly at a Champagne afternoon tea runs dry, all is not lost.

While it might be tricky to save the day (there’s always next year), here are some top tips to get your money back on whatever disaster unfolded.

1. Her flowers weren’t up to scratch

If you ordered her a beautiful bouquet and the flowers arrive less than blooming, your mum might be a bit disappointed but at least you won’t be out of pocket.

What you see should be what you get, so if the flowers you bought based on the picture on the site of beautiful blooms turn up wilted, crushed or with broken stems, the retailer is in breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act and you’re entitled to a refund.

And keep in mind, it’s the retailers – not the courier – who is responsible for the condition of the bouquet when it gets to you. You’re also entitled to a partial refund if your flowers don’t arrive in time, match the description or have fewer flower stems than promised.

Dried red roses

2. You bought your mum something she doesn’t want

Not every gift you get your mum is going to blow her away (especially if you get her an iron).

It’s important to know that your return rights are different whether you bought her gift in-store or online. If you bought her present online, high street stores don’t have to accept returns unless an item is faulty, not as described or is unfit for purpose.

The good news is most retailers choose to provide a ‘goodwill’ returns policy, offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns.

But if your gift was bought online, over the phone or by mail order, you have additional rights to return it under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. Although there are some returns exceptions worth knowing about, including:

  • DVDs, music and computer software – many retailers refuse returns if the seal or packaging has been broken
  • Perishable items – you won’t usually be able to return an item if it’s perishable. This includes food and flowers (unless they weren’t as promised, see above)
  • Made to order – if an item has been made to order or personalised it’s very unlikely that you’ll be able to return it.

3. Your present hasn’t turned up

‘Your gift is in the mail’ is a cliche excuse many of us will have tried to use before – but what about when it’s actually true?

While you might be left a little red-faced, luckily you have some rights. 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 could 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.

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

4. Her present doesn’t work

So you bought her that iron (it’s OK, she actually asked for it) but it doesn’t work – don’t worry, you can get your money back under the Consumer Rights Act.

You also have the right to claim if her gift isn’t as described, isn’t of satisfactory quality or isn’t fit for purpose. Under these circumstances, her present is classed as a faulty good and you have the right to reject it and get a full refund.

But this right is limited to 30 days from the date of purchase, so act fast. After those 30 days, you can’t demand a full refund, but you do still have the right to a repair or replacement.

Make a free refund, repair or replacement claim.

5. Your Mother’s Day afternoon tea was a total let-down

You bought her a Champagne afternoon tea, but the restaurant ran out of bubbles.

While a bit of a let-down, the restaurant is in breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act because it didn’t give you what was described.

You also have the right to expect food of satisfactory quality that is as described on the menu and you shouldn’t have to pay if it isn’t up to standard. And remember, 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. You got your mum a ticket from a dodgy ticketing site

You thought you were taking your mum to see a West End musical, but the ticket turned out to be a dud because you accidentally bought it from a dodgy site.

Unfortunately, you have fewer rights if you bought from a secondary ticket seller. But, there are certain scenarios where you’re entitled to claim a refund if you purchased from an unauthorised secondary site, and there are steps you can take to get that refund.

The Consumer Rights Act has a whole chapter on ticket reselling and says you must be told at the time of purchase:

  • the particular seat or standing area your ticket is for, including the block of seats and row number
  • any restrictions on using the ticket
  • the face value of the ticket.

Use our free guide to make a complaint to the company or take steps to get your money back.

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