My wife (Shell) and I recently renovated our family home. Little did I know, all the furniture and homewares that had served us so well were now (apparently) no longer fit for purpose.
Fortunately, we were able to engage a very talented interior designer to assist us in choosing and sourcing new pieces, including a number of floor rugs. While the hallway runners she selected matched the décor nicely, they were in my experienced and learned opinion too short for their respective locations.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist (as you would surely desire in any Lawyer), I dutifully measured the spaces and knew exactly what sizes were required. I then located an online seller (whose name included the initials AU) which filled me with confidence as to their location.
I used all my skills to select three rugs that would be just perfect in the required spaces. I also managed to get some sort of discount because I was buying three rugs (hooray!). Order placed – delivery included – all done. Nice work Matt. All without any input from my wife or the designer.
The rugs were delivered in no time, directly to my freshly renovated home – perfect logistics. The way too short rugs were removed and the new rugs were rolled out in their respective locations. Perfect size. Not sure about the pattern though – or the colour – but no doubt they will grow on me… But gee they fit well!
A few days later, while walking past the hallway I couldn’t help but stop and stare at my perfectly sized runners. Something wasn’t quite right.
“Shell, I’m not sure about those rugs – I’m not sure they match”, I said.
“They’re ok, nice under foot”, she said.
A few days later I found myself standing in the hallway once again.
“Shell, I’m not sure about those rugs, they really don’t match and they look dodge”, I said.
“They’re not perfect but they’re ok”, she said.
A week later…
“Shell, I hate them. Gonna send them back and get credit and we’ll pick something else”, I said.
“We are well within the 30 day swap guarantee on their website. I will contact them and get return details and send them back for credit so we can pick something else.”
“If you think so Matthew”, said Shell.
So off I go and email the rug company advising I wish to return the rugs and get a credit to use against future purchases. I get an automated response that they will respond. Not unexpected. Two days later I get another detailed response. Great I think, no need to be worried. They seem very reputable and will provide a credit as soon as I send the rugs back, which I will do when they tell me where to send them.
Thanks for sticking with me. This is where things go pear-shaped.
They do indeed give me clear directions for the return of the rugs. They need to be couriered to an address in Switzerland, and upon receipt they will indeed provide me with a credit.
“Switzerland! Are you (expletive removed) joking?”
They advised that if I needed a courier company, I could use their courier company (details provided) and they would upon receipt of the rugs offset the courier charge of $785 against my credit for the rugs.
The rugs (with my hard fought and carefully wrangled discount), initially cost less than $600. So, I could return the rugs using their courier to Switzerland and end up with no rug and owing them a $200 balance in courier charges for the benefit of them getting their rugs back and me left with no credit and no rug…
Or, if that option is not preferred, they said I can decide to keep the rugs and they will give me a $100 refund back. Great… I started typing a response email, quoting various legal positions and making certain threats, but I begrudgingly and painfully (and probably inexorably) resolved to do what I expect those other customers before me also chose to do.
I chose to take the (expletive removed) $100 refund and would try to sell my (expletive removed) rugs on Facebook Marketplace.
What have I learnt? Well a whole lot of things.
- Designers really know their stuff
- My wife is a very patient and understanding woman
- That Consumer Protection Law in Australia is excellent but who’s got the time to fight about some rugs
- Be careful when buying online, and check where the Seller is located and whether they have an advertised Australian location
- The runners the designer chose look fantastic back in their original places
- That selling things on Facebook Marketplace is a whole other skill.
What’s the moral of this story?
If you have any Consumer Law issues – please don’t contact me. As you may have gleaned from the above, my expertise lies elsewhere. If you have any property queries however, especially property project matters, I will be very glad to help.
For any Consumer Law matters, please contact Simon Thompson or Meagan Brown. They are certainly well placed to assist. If the issue is a mismatched rug that needs to be sent back to Switzerland however, maybe take the $100 and cut your losses.
Think Consumer Protection. Think Nicholsons. (But don’t think Matthew Weaver…)
Connect with Matthew on LinkedIn.