Bathstore refund and installation rights as the chain sinks into administration

Bathstore refund and installation rights as the chain sinks into administration


STRUGGLING retailer Bathstore has gone into administration – but what does it mean for customers?

Yesterday it announced that it had gone bust and is currently looking for a buyer to take on all 135 of its stores.

So far, Britain's biggest bathroom retailer has made 89 head office staff redundant and another 450 jobs are at risk.

The retailer said that all stores will continue trading and it is confident that it will be able to complete "the majority" of existing orders.

But it has stopped the installation side of the business completely. We take a look at your rights if you're a Bathstore customer.

Your rights if you've paid for a bathroom but it's not been delivered or installed

Bathstore says that it plans to continue trading and complete orders as long as it has the items in stock.

The retailer is contacting customers by phone or email to let them know if or when their delivery will happen.

What isn't covered by Section 75?

WHILE Section 75 offers great protection for consumers, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

  • In circumstances when you've paid for goods through an agent or a third party, then you may not be able to claim under Section 75.  For example, if you buy concert tickets direct from the venue with your credit card, then Section 75 may apply but if you bought them via a ticketing agency then it may not. This is because the card provider could argue that as the payment wasn't paid directly to the supplier of the goods or service, it doesn't apply, as it doesn't have a "direct relationship" with them.
  • Another grey area is when you pay with your credit card through services like PayPal. If the company you are buying from has something called a "Commercial Entity Agreement" with Paypal then you may still be able to make a claim. Paypal also has its own refund system, so consumer should use that in the first instance.
  • Although Section 75 doesn't cover debit cards or payments under £100, there is another refund scheme which can help called chargeback. This however isn't a legal right, so if you're making a big purchase it's always best to use your credit card to make sure you're covered.

But even if your order is delivered, it won't install it for you as that side of the business has been shut down.

You can pay a separate tradesman to install your bathroom but you'll need to make your own arrangements for this.

You can finds a local tradesman on the Trustatrader website here.

Can I get a refund?

If you've been told by customer services that there isn't enough stock to fulfil your order then you should ask for a refund.

Here's how to get a refund based on how you paid:

Paid on credit card

If you paid on a credit card and it cost more than £100 and less than £30,000 then you should be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

The card company is equally responsible if you bought something that you didn't receive or isn't up to a good enough standard.

You may be able to claim a refund through your provider. Call it up and explain what has happened and it should send you a claim form.

If you bought multiple items for under £100 each then you're not covered by Section 75.

Paid on debit card

Items that cost less than £100 on credit card or items you paid for with a debit card may be covered by chargeback rules.

Unlike Section 75, it's not a legal requirement but a customer service promise.

You'll need to speak to your card provider within 120 days of the date that you made the payment.

If you paid by cash or cheque

Unfortunately, there isn't a way of claiming back the money if you paid with cash or cheque.

You'll have to join the queue of people claiming back money from administrators although lenders will be paid first.

Bathstore's administrator is a firm called BDO.

Can I return products?

If you want to return products that you previously bought from the store then you won't be able to get a refund.

Bathstores says that as a result of the administration it will not be able to process them.

If the item is faulty or not as described then you should try and claim it back using either Section 75 or chargeback, as explained above.

What about gift cards?

Bathstore has confirmed to The Sun that it never sold gift cards.

Ryan Grant, business restructuring partner at BDO, said: "Despite significant investment into the business over the past five years, Bathstore has struggled to overcome the well-documented challenges facing the UK retail sector.

"The appointment was made after several months of difficult trading, and the failure of ongoing talks to find a buyer for the business.

"Bathstore is continuing to trade in administration, whilst the administrators seek a buyer."

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