COMPLAINING ABOUT POOR SERVICE – 08/12/2016

Now we are warming to my theme!

We are in to the season of parties and all manner of services including hairdressers (for the ladies) and various other traps that can prove to be a minefield for the amateur complainer. The key here is “reasonable care and skill”.

If you have paid an individual or a business to do a service – for example, give you a haircut, make a wedding cake or provide transport – and it has not been done with care and skill, you can:

* ask them to do it again, if it is possible
* ask for a discount

GET THE SERVICE DONE AGAIN OR GET A PART REFUND

The law says you must first give the seller / retailer the option of providing the service again if it is possible for them to do so. You are legally entitled to go straight to getting a discount if any of the following apply:

* it is not possible to get the service done again
* it would take too long to get the service done again
* it would be too inconvenient for you to get the service done again

The trader may agree to give you a discount rather than re-do the service if that is what you would prefer, and you simply need to ask and see what they say.

IF YOU DON’T IMMEDIATELY NOTICE A PROBLEM

It may not be obvious at the time that the service wasn’t done to a good standard. You are entitled to ask for things to be put right for:

* up to 6 years in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
* up to 5 years in Scotland

WHAT TO SAY / WRITE

“The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that services must be provided with reasonable care and skill.

In my opinion, you clearly did not use reasonable care and skill when you provided this service.

I therefore ask that you to fix the problem / give me a price reduction.”

If you can not resolve your dispute, you should take the following steps:

* Write a complaint letter referring to your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015
* Check to see if the trader is a member of a Trade Association
* Explore Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”)
* If you paid for the service with a debit / credit card, you may be able to submit a claim to your Bank via their respective refund schemes
* If this doesn’t work, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (“FOS”)
* Take the trader to the Small Claims Court

I cover the Consumer Rights Act, ADR, debit and credit card refund schemes, Ombudsman Schemes, Small Claims Court actions and much more in my book complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.

Buy it now as an e-book here or on paperback here

BBC Radio Scotland have read it and interviewed me as a consumer expert for a five-part consumer programme they have made.  Read a free sample via my website and let me know what you think?

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