Pricewatch readers’ queries: Dunnes Stores confusion but fairness

A case of messy returns shows the law might not always favour the customer

Dunnes Stores: The store actually did more than is required of it by law

Dunnes Stores: The store actually did more than is required of it by law

 

A reader by the name of Maria was left fierce confused by her dealing with Dunnes Stores. Over Christmas she received a present of two sports tops from the retailer.

“The tops were a little too small for me, so I decided to bring them to Dunnes Stores, Bishopstown, Cork and exchange them for a larger size, on January 5th,” she writes.

She could only find one of the original tops in the shop but “as they had lots of nice sports tops, I picked out two different tops instead and went up to customer services to enquire about exchanging the original two tops for these two new sports tops.”

She says the girl behind the counter asked her if she had the original receipt and she said she hadn’t as she had received them as a present .

“The girl working with her said it was ok to exchange the tops once the Dunnes Stores tags were still on the items. The original tags were on the items, with the price section removed.

When I queried this she looked it up on another computer and told me that it was discounted but hadn’t been labelled yet.

“The girl proceeded to scan the items and I noticed with surprise that the price of each of the original sports tops came up as being €5. When I queried this (the tops obviously originally cost more than €5), the girl replied that both tops were now discounted to €5 each and as I didn’t have the original receipt, she would only allow me to return them at their current value of €5 each, requiring me to pay the difference on any exchange.”

Complications

This did not seem like very good value to Maria so she decided to keep the original items and go back to the present giver and see if they still had the receipt for the items.

“ Just as I was walking away, I remembered that the zip on one on the tops was broken. I went back to the same customer service girl and asked her if the top was broken was I entitled to exchange it for the same top in a bigger size with a zip that worked (as the original item wasn’t fit for purpose)? She said yes, once she had got manager approval that the item was damaged.

“I went and got the original top and brought it up for the exchange. I noticed when I was handing it in that the price on it read €25 and not the ‘now discounted price of €5’ that I’d been told.

“When I queried this she looked it up on another computer and told me that it was discounted but hadn’t been labelled yet. I asked her... [HAD]the two new tops I had picked out by any chance been discounted but not labelled but she said no. She proceeded to exchange the damaged original top for the same top in a larger size with a zip that worked.”

Maria is annoyed by the policy of returns without a receipt and she wonders if she should have got a credit note for €20 for the exchange on the damaged item, as it was supposedly discounted to €5 at the time she returned it. The original buyer would have paid €25 according to the price tag on it.

It is all a bit messy but the retailer is not doing anything wrong. In fact by allowing an exchange without any proof of purchase, it is actually doing more than is required of it by law.