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Wrong curtains

After seeing a special offer advertising free sewing of curtains when drapes are purchased from a particular shop, a consumer decided to take up this offer and went to the shop to choose the drapes. The consumer chose the material she liked, which was called Turq Satin.

The company’s director advised her not to choose this type of material and encouraged her to choose something else. When the curtains were ready and installed at the consumer’s home, the latter realised that the material was not the one she chose. The consumer also complained about the bathroom’s curtain as the design did not look right and it was also slightly damaged. In view of these shortcomings, the consumer claimed a compensation of €100 for the wrong material supplied and also another €50 which she paid for the installation and tie-back.

In response to this claim,the trader confirmed that the consumer had bought the material for the curtain from her shop and also that the consumer was advised to choose a different material as the one chosen was not adequate for the type of curtain the consumer wanted. What, however, was not clear was whether the consumer accepted to change the material chosen.

The Consumer Affairs Tribunal considered the design sheet signed by the consumer in which there was the name of the material originally chosen by the consumer but with a different code. The tribunal understood that the consumer, as a non-technical person, would only look at the description of the material and could not possibly figure out what a code stands for, and that a changed code meant a different material.

The tribunal also said that the salesgirl that dealt with the consumer should have testified in the proceedings as she would be in a better position to state what was the decision of the consumer after she was advised to change the material. Hence, since the tribunal only had the consumer’s version who claimed that she was not provided with the material ordered, and also considering the mistakes on the design sheet, the tribunal believed the consumer’s version and blamed the company for any mistakes done when the order was placed.

After taking into consideration the consumer’s and trader’s statements during the sitting and also the provisions of the Consumer Affairs Act, the arbiter met the consumer’s claim and ordered the trader to pay the consumer the amount of €150. The arbiter also ruled that the trader should pay the expenses of the tribunal sitting.

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