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Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Wednesday 9 November 2016


The things I do for you!

I reported on 7 October 2016 (see under consumer rights) about the unstitching of the fly of the trousers I had bought from Marks & Spencer. I exercised my right to a repair under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 on 7 October 2016. Where a repair (or the alternative right to a replacement) has been asked for, the trader must comply within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the customer. Whether or not the trader has complied will depend on the nature of the goods and the purpose for which they were being acquired. The trader must bear any necessary costs involved including the cost of labour, materials and postage.

So what was a reasonable time to stitch up a fly? 14 days, I would say and certainly no more than 28. Those 28 days were up last Friday. So that very day, I sent my friends at M&S customer services a little e mail. In the matter of the trousers, I said this- 

But I am back in The Case of the Opening Fly. I returned to your Kew store on 7 October 2016 a pair of trousers, the fly of which had become unstitched and exercised my statutory right to a repair. The trousers were left with you to enable that repair to be effected. Given that I had not asked for a house to be built or the trousers to be enlarged to accommodate a 60 inch girth or a 40 inch pair of legs, I would have expected to hear by now that they were ready. Where are they, please? They should now be returned to me in a repaired state at the address I can notify. 

And they said

Hi Stephen
I'm sorry it's taken so long for an update about your pair of trousers.
I've spoken to the Duty Manager at Kew, she told me the trousers have been passed on to the Alteration Specialist - they should hear from them soon.
She isn't in today, but I've passed your information on to one of my colleagues who will call the Kew store tomorrow and speak to her about where we're up to with the trousers.
Thanks for getting in touch today, we'll be in touch soon.
Kind regards

Retail Customer Services
Your M&S Customer Service

And then after a further prod from me and kind customer services sentiments abut my feeling well, I got a call from the store this afternoon  The trousers will be ready this Saturday which takes us to five weeks. M&S has promised to send the trousers to me to save me having to incur expense in returning to the store.

In certain circumstances, the trader may be able to refuse a repair (or replacement) where this would be impossible or disproportionate. For more , see Breaking Law at chapter 39.