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'Shop staff quoted nonsense rights at me...' blog discussion

94 replies 16.8K views
This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.




Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.
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  • spadooshspadoosh Forumite
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    I tihnk its a bit much for a member of staff on minimum wage in retail to know the ins and outs of the sale of goods act. However they should be well informed on their companies returns policy which should cover the law. It is bad that the manager/supervisor tried to fob you off with this one
  • danothydanothy Forumite
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    I’m tempted to argue that all large chains should be obliged to give all staff lessons in retail law and that they need to pass a small test to show that they understand it. My only minor concern is that this would discourage new employment and could be a barrier to entry.

    I'd argue that you should have to past a test on consumer law before you're allowed to buy anything ...
    If you think of it as 'us' verses 'them', then it's probably your side that are the villains.
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving Expert MoneySaving Expert
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    danothy wrote: »
    I'd argue that you should have to past a test on consumer law before you're allowed to buy anything ...

    I was in meeting Nick Gibb schools minister about financial education in schools yesterday (see http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/financial-education/ ) so in many ways I agree with you.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
  • aldreddaldredd Forumite
    925 posts
    Believe it or not, when I went with my partner to return a pair of shoes which had started falling apart after one use - only to be told that they wouldn't take them back as 'no one else' had had a problem with them - I was too gobsmacked to even argue against them.
  • spadoosh wrote: »
    I tihnk its a bit much for a member of staff on minimum wage in retail to know the ins and outs of the sale of goods act. However they should be well informed on their companies returns policy which should cover the law. It is bad that the manager/supervisor tried to fob you off with this one

    It should be part of their training if they are responsible for returns; minimum wage or otherwise.
  • edited 21 June 2011 at 12:24PM
    RegshoeRegshoe Forumite
    237 posts
    edited 21 June 2011 at 12:24PM
    I think you're right that staff should be expected to have at least a basic knowledge of the SOGA and so on, though I think to avoid a barrier to entry then it shouldn't be any more than can be drilled into them within 30-60 minutes.

    It would be reasonable though to expect the supervisory and management staff to have a much fuller understanding of the rules and regulations.

    There is a good precedent/comparison - FSA regulations - I recall when I worked for a financial services company I had to take a very basic FSA test even to do the low level admin back office work and anybody who was to have contact with a customer had to take a more rigorous test. I don't see much difference in asking retail staff to know something about retail law and asking financial services staff to know something about FSA rules and data protection.

    Edit: Just had another thought - I think most if not all employees have to fill out some sort of H&S style question and answer quiz every now and again - I don't see why this couldn't be the same, straightforward online presentation followed by a quiz, then print out your low quality clip-art chic certificate.
  • spadooshspadoosh Forumite
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    They're customer advisors/assistants i.e. advise customers on products the company sells.

    All they need to know is the company returns policy. The salesperson in this scenario clearly did not know the company returns so even if they were taught the Sale of Goods Act do you really think they would have been able to remember it when they appear unable to remember their returns policy or even read it from behind the checkout?! Clearly a case of someone thinking they know better..... Buyers beware, this site has been saying it for years.
  • AVTAVT Forumite
    4 posts
    I was in "The Original Factory Shop" at the weekend. A man was buying a video cctv type thingy. The sales assistant told him it was only guaranteed 2 months, "so don't be coming back in 6 months saying it doesn't work", she said, laughing. I'm standing there thinking she can't be right, but didn't say anything as I was not confident of the facts. It's not correct, is it?
  • RegshoeRegshoe Forumite
    237 posts
    AVT wrote: »
    I was in "The Original Factory Shop" at the weekend. A man was buying a video cctv type thingy. The sales assistant told him it was only guaranteed 2 months, "so don't be coming back in 6 months saying it doesn't work", she said, laughing. I'm standing there thinking she can't be right, but didn't say anything as I was not confident of the facts. It's not correct, is it?

    No I don't think so, this would come under the "last a Reasonable length of Time" part of Martin's mnemonic. It may be that the store has some policy of returns/replacements for the initial two months that goes beyond what is required by the SOGA, which is fine, but can't replace your statutory rights.
  • s_bs_b Forumite
    4.5K posts
    Ive read the article and agree the person offering the discount was wrong,she should have offered the 3% but said you cant bring it back because the loose button fell off.
    Unfortunately unlike when i was in retail the standard of training seems to be non existent ,i used to go on training sessions even to head office occasionally and then i would come back to my shop and train the staff according to their rank,i always had a supervisor who was basically trained to my ability and would be able to solve any problems properly if i wasnt available
    Personally the standards i see on the high street these days just appalls me,for instance i would have got a written warning if my doorway /windows were dirty,look at even blue chip retailers and the standard of house keeping is going backwards, so there is no chance mary of the fourth form is going to know statute law,and probably wouldnt want to as they chopped her hours to a minimum and only pay minimum wage.
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