Left feeling down at heel over some shoddy shoes
YOUR CONSUMER QUERIES:Ciaran Geraghty bought a pair of shoes from O’Neill’s on Dublin’s Talbot Street in July for €40. He says that after six weeks the shoes broke at the heels.
He brought them back and was told that he was “using the right shoe too much”. Our reader pointed out that he had only worn them as a pair, as you do, and that if the shop assistant “had another look he would see that both shoes were broken and not just the right one”.
Eventually the shop agreed to send them back to the manufacturer and he was told to come back the following week. “I called in the next week as requested and was served by a different sales assistant.”
This chap said our reader would have to speak to the original shop assistant, called Joe, who was holidays. “I called back in the following week to find that Joe was on his day off. By this stage, I started to feel I was getting the runaround.” Eventually, after a number of visits and phone calls, he spoke to Joe, who did not mention the manufacturer again, but instead offered him €10 off another pair of shoes.
Joe said that was the best he could do. “I told him that that this wasn’t acceptable and that the shoes should not have broken so soon and were obviously faulty. He acknowledged that the shoes had broken but asked me ‘What do you expect for €40?’ I said I expected that when I purchased a pair of shoes from a reputable shop for €40 that they would last longer than six weeks.”
Joe wasn’t for budging and suggested that our reader could take a case to the Small Claims Court. He can do that but the fee of €25 is non-refundable and not covered in any settlement so it hardly seems worth the hassle.
We called the shop and spoke to Joe. While he said we would have to speak to the manager – who is, incidentally, the man who said he could not handle our reader’s query in the absence of Joe – he did say that the shoes were plastic and that he was unsurprised they broke and that he could not be expected to give our reader either a new pair or his money back.
We explained the law. Goods have to be fit for purpose and if not a person is entitled to a refund, a repair or a replacement. There is no mention in the law of a part refund which must be offset against a purchase in the same shop.