UK shoppers should avoid Floormats.co.uk as customers are being unfairly asked to send substandard goods back to Germany out of their own pocket, warns Which?.
We have received a string of complaints about a company called Floor Mats UK (website floormats.co.uk) since the beginning of the year.
Customers say the company is sending extremely poor quality items, often delivered late, and then refusing to pay refunds unless the customer pays out of their own pocket to ship goods to Germany, despite claiming to be UK-based.
The most recent complaints suggest Floor Mats UK may now be taking payments without delivering any goods at all.
We have been approached by eight Floor Mats UK customers in the past two months, all of whom have similar complaints - that goods are delivered extremely late, and items are of noticeably poor quality.
Some customers said Floor Mats UK ignored their email and phone requests for refunds entirely.
Others were offered small discounts instead of full refunds and were told by customer services that they must return the goods to Germany at their own cost before full refunds could be processed.
One shopper told us that it would cost £50-£80 to send back two faulty items, almost as much as he paid in the first place:
'I purchased two floor mats on the 20 December 2020, they were polycarbonate and not cheap to go under office chairs in a carpet. After a few weeks they started to crack.
'By February they were in bits. I contacted Floor Mats uk by email to request a refund, they went through a process by email of a discount, then a bigger discount, then said to return them to Germany at my cost.
'I have tried to call Floor Mats UK, but they do not answer. I have written off the £94 I paid.'
The site floormats.co.uk suggests it has a UK-base and its terms and conditions make no mention of customers being asked to send items back to Germany.
The two most recent complaints about Floor Mats UK are even more concerning as both shoppers told Which? that their items have not arrived at all, despite being ordered in early March with the promise of delivery within 3 to 6 working days.
The company has not responded to their requests for refunds.
Floor Mats UK and Dayton Home and Office
Which? attempted to contact Floormats.co.uk and Dayton about our concerns via email and telephone but did not receive any response.
The retailer - in this case Floor Mats UK - is responsible for the 'reasonable costs' of returning faulty products under UK law.
The states that 'whether or not the consumer has a duty to return the rejected goods, the trader must bear any reasonable costs of returning them, other than any costs incurred by the consumer in returning the goods in person to the place where the consumer took physical possession of them.'
If you are returning goods for a replacement the Consumer Rights Act says the 'necessary costs incurred' in returning it, such as postage, should be reimbursed
Retailers selling to UK consumers should not ask those customers to return faulty goods at their own expense. The retailer should either collect faulty goods or cover the consumer's cost of returning them.
If the retailer is based outside the UK the position can be more complicated. If it is directing its products to UK consumers by doing things like pricing items in Sterling or using a .co.uk website address, the rights and remedies provided by UK consumer laws will usually apply.
But, it may not be possible for the consumer to take action against that trader, which could in practice make it very difficult for them to seek redress.
If the retailer refuses to meet its legal obligations, you can ask your card provider to step in.
Where the goods cost less than £100 or payment was made with a debit/charge card, there is no Section 75 claim although you can ask your bank to raise a chargeback claim instead.