Happy Father’s Day to all of the dads. Following Father’s Day last year, I received lots of emails and letters from readers asking me various questions. I thought I would pre-empt your questions this year, by providing this mini guide on what can go wrong on Father’s Day, and your consumer rights in relation to each issue:
My gift hasn’t arrived
If you specified the date of delivery (which I always advise consumers do), or if it was obvious that it was a Father’s Day gift, the retailer will be in breach of contract for failing to deliver on time. The problem is it is highly unlikely that you will be entitled to any compensation as you could not prove a sufficient enough loss, beyond ‘disappointment’. However, you will be able to cancel the order and get your money back either due to the breach, or because of the Consumer Contracts Regulations which allow you 14 days (from the date of delivery) to cancel orders placed online.
My gift doesn’t fit or is not to my dad’s liking
If you purchased ‘in store’ you will need to check the retailer’s returns policy, as the law does not provide you with an automatic right to return ‘non-faulty’ goods purchased in a shop. Often retailers allow you to exchange goods or provide a credit note when you purchase instore. However, it is all far easier if you purchased online as you can simply send the goods back, as I have explained above in relation to gifts which do not arrive.
The restaurant cancelled our table at the last minute
If you requested a restaurant booking and the restaurant confirmed this and took a deposit from you, a contract has been formed. This would mean that a cancellation by the restaurant would be a breach of contract. In these circumstances you could claim compensation but the amount would be small and would be linked to additional expenses you incurred in making alternative arrangements. However, if there was no deposit taken when you booked, whilst it would be considered to be bad customer service, it would not be a breach of any legally binding agreement.