Bathroom Suppliers Refusing to Refund!

Looking for advice please!

TLDR; bathroom suppliers are refusing to refund tiles which appear a different colour to brochure. They are also requesting a 20% restocking fee if I want to return a vanity unit despite ordering without my confirmation. 

I purchased a bathroom from a local supplier that I had used (and returned items to) before. I had an initial design appointment in the summer and put some items together. I then booked in with their fitters in December and had my second design appointment to confirm the design before ordering. 

Now during this second design appointment I was shown their recommended vanity unit closest to my inspo pic as well as tiles. I let them know I didn’t like the vanity so I’ll shop around and they asked me to just confirm on social media or call. 

I called during the week (5 days later) and they had already ordered everything without my consent! I asked can they just keep the vanity unit as I don’t want it and they said they’ll charge me a 20% restocking fee. So I said I’ll just see what it looks like when it gets here. 

The vanity unit arrived and it still looks as expected and nothing like what I was hoping for. On top of that, the tiles are a completely different colour than the brochure! After a lot of back and forth, theyagreed the tiles look grey and not the beige cream colour expected but then changed their mind and said they won’t refund the tiles as there is a hint of brown? They had no samples in the showroom at the time, just a brochure which I took a pic of. They emailed a terms and conditions document AFTER ordering which doesn’t say tiles are non refundable. 

Would anybody be able to advise on my rights to return here? I don’t know what to do but looks like I’ll have no bathroom over Christmas as I’ve asked the fitters to pause while I find new tiles and vanity unit. 

Thank you 

Attached the tile in the brochure with the designer pointing at the selected tile, my inspo pic and the tiles I have received in 2 different lights. 





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Comments

  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,103
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 9:26AM
    I'd say the tiles do look the same colour as the brochure in your second photo, although in the first photo they do look grey rather than Ivory.

    I'd not be accepted any restocking fee for a sink I did not order, but I think you've made it more complicated by allowing them to deliver it to you, and perhaps tacitly accepting it.
  • Skuk
    Skuk Posts: 33
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    I'd say the tiles do look the same colour as the brochure in your second photo, although in the first photo they do look grey rather than Ivory.

    I'd not be accepted any restocking fee for a sink I did not order, but I think you've made it more complicated by allowing them to deliver it to you, and perhaps tacitly accepting it.
    Thank you. I appreciate the tiles are just going to look different in different lighting/people. But should there be the option to return anyway? I have quite a few boxes unused or unopened.  
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,103
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 10:43AM
    Skuk said:
    I'd say the tiles do look the same colour as the brochure in your second photo, although in the first photo they do look grey rather than Ivory.

    I'd not be accepted any restocking fee for a sink I did not order, but I think you've made it more complicated by allowing them to deliver it to you, and perhaps tacitly accepting it.
    Thank you. I appreciate the tiles are just going to look different in different lighting/people. But should there be the option to return anyway? I have quite a few boxes unused or unopened.  

    Since you were not made aware of the T&Cs before purchase, I suspect you'll fall back on to standard consumer rights. But, the fact that you did order them makes me think you won't necessarily have a right to return with no fee since it's a change of mind rather than, eg, faulty goods. I think you'd have to show they were not as described and that's quite a subjective thing in this case.

    For a change of mind return, a restocking fee can be pretty normal, especially for items where the retailer has ordered them from a supplier (rather than ones they keep in stock) and where they will have incurred costs.

    The fact that you've had your plumber fit them to your wall means it would not be a simple return either.

    Have you decided that you cannot live with them as they are. ie. you strictly cannot keep them?
  • Skuk
    Skuk Posts: 33
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    Thank you for the insight on restocking fee. Although I interpret their terms and conditions to suggest a restock fee only applies after 2 weeks. 
    I would be fine to take that hit but looks like they won’t accept the vanity being refunded either as the box has been opened!

    I was looking to only return the unused boxes of tiles, there’s still a lot left as we only did the one wall before stopping. 

    I’ve just this second bought a few boxes of different tiles to use in addition to just make the room brighter but I would still want to return the vanity.

    I’ve attached their terms and conditions regarding refunds which does not state anything about becoming nonrefundable once the box is open. 

    I’m hoping the bank may be able to help. 
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,600
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    Skuk said:
    I'd say the tiles do look the same colour as the brochure in your second photo, although in the first photo they do look grey rather than Ivory.

    I'd not be accepted any restocking fee for a sink I did not order, but I think you've made it more complicated by allowing them to deliver it to you, and perhaps tacitly accepting it.
    Thank you. I appreciate the tiles are just going to look different in different lighting/people. But should there be the option to return anyway? I have quite a few boxes unused or unopened.  
    Who said/ordered how many tiles would be required?
    Life in the slow lane
  • Alderbank
    Alderbank Posts: 2,695
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 12:29PM
    Regarding the tiles, as you informed them within 14 days of receiving them you have the right to cancel that part of the order. They cannot charge a restocking fee for a consumer purchase but they can charge return carriage (or you arrange that yourself) provided this was made clear in their T&Cs. If the goods were devalued by being handled more than you would expect in a shop they can reduce the refund, but that is not the case for unused boxes of tiles.

    It is not clear to me what contract you have regarding the vanity unit, and that is important. It does not seem like an ordinary straightforward purchase.
    Does this designer work for the shop?
    Sometimes the contract with a designer is that they make purchases on your behalf and you effectively buy from them. Purchase by the designer can mean you get a discount but can also mean the sale from the shop is a B2B contract.
    It sound to me that the designer might have made some kind of provisional purchase for you as part of their service so that you could see how it looked in your home. That might explain the restocking charge. However whether they were authorised to do so depends absolutely on the contract.
  • HillStreetBlues
    HillStreetBlues Posts: 3,084
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 1:43PM

    For a change of mind return, a restocking fee can be pretty normal, especially for items where the retailer has ordered them from a supplier (rather than ones they keep in stock) and where they will have incurred costs.

    The retailer's contract with the supplier has no bearing on a customers rights. If they return it in the 14 days (under CPA) then no restocking fee can legally be charged (this excludes bespoke items).
    Let's Be Careful Out There
  • Skuk
    Skuk Posts: 33
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    Alderbank said:
    Regarding the tiles, as you informed them within 14 days of receiving them you have the right to cancel that part of the order. They cannot charge a restocking fee for a consumer purchase but they can charge return carriage (or you arrange that yourself) provided this was made clear in their T&Cs. If the goods were devalued by being handled more than you would expect in a shop they can reduce the refund, but that is not the case for unused boxes of tiles.

    It is not clear to me what contract you have regarding the vanity unit, and that is important. It does not seem like an ordinary straightforward purchase.
    Does this designer work for the shop?
    Sometimes the contract with a designer is that they make purchases on your behalf and you effectively buy from them. Purchase by the designer can mean you get a discount but can also mean the sale from the shop is a B2B contract.
    It sound to me that the designer might have made some kind of provisional purchase for you as part of their service so that you could see how it looked in your home. That might explain the restocking charge. However whether they were authorised to do so depends absolutely on the contract.
    Thank you for this. 

    Just to clarify, I bought a suite of bathroom products (including the vanity and tiles) from a local small bathroom supply store/showroom where the designer is just an employee. I imagine they source the items from different suppliers and order it all in and delivery it to customers. They didn’t make a provisional order unfortunately. Hence why my first sight of everything is on delivery.  

    They've categorically said no returns for the tiles and they’ve asked for pictures of the box/packaging for the vanity unit which they’ve sent to the suppliers to approve a return? I’ve never heard this before and have returned items to them for previous bathrooms with no issue. 
    Nervous they’re probably going to suggest the box isn't good enough to be returned- it’s fine with no rips, just opened.  

    The only terms and conditions regarding lrefunds is attached. 
    It doesn’t sound like they’re following their own terms and conditions or can legally refuse my return? 
  • MeteredOut
    MeteredOut Posts: 1,103
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    edited 19 December 2023 at 2:28PM

    For a change of mind return, a restocking fee can be pretty normal, especially for items where the retailer has ordered them from a supplier (rather than ones they keep in stock) and where they will have incurred costs.

    The retailer's contract with the supplier has no bearing on a customers rights. If they return it in the 14 days (under CPA) then no restocking fee can legally be charged (this excludes bespoke items).
    How does that fit with this:

    "You DON'T have a legal right to change your mind & return store-bought goods. Even if you've bought the wrong colour or size, stores don't legally have to refund you simply because you've changed your mind. (It's different if items are faulty.)"

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange/

    (I've assumed the OP was in store when they ordered them at the 2nd design appointment, since they were shown the vanity unit at that time. Does store-bought mean you also have to take them away, or is ordering in store and having the delivered not count a store bought?)
  • Skuk
    Skuk Posts: 33
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     MeteredOut said:

    For a change of mind return, a restocking fee can be pretty normal, especially for items where the retailer has ordered them from a supplier (rather than ones they keep in stock) and where they will have incurred costs.

    The retailer's contract with the supplier has no bearing on a customers rights. If they return it in the 14 days (under CPA) then no restocking fee can legally be charged (this excludes bespoke items).
    How does that fit with this:

    "You DON'T have a legal right to change your mind & return store-bought goods. Even if you've bought the wrong colour or size, stores don't legally have to refund you simply because you've changed your mind. (It's different if items are faulty.)"

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/consumer-rights-refunds-exchange/

    (I've assumed the OP was in store when they ordered them at the 2nd design appointment, since they were shown the vanity unit at that time. Does store-bought mean you also have to take them away, or is ordering in store and having the delivered not count a store bought?)
    It’s slightly confusing on which guidance to follow when it comes to online vs in store purchases. 

    I did not have sight of the items as they didn’t have them in the showroom. I just have pictures of the brochure I was shown and was supposed to go away and let them know my thoughts but they just went ahead and ordered their recommendations without confirming with me. So the first time I saw them was on delivery.  

    I’ve attached one above but these are the pictures of the brochure I took of the vanity and tiles as there’s no other way to try and picture them once home. Their computer illustration doesn’t have the actual products on, just generic items in similar requested colours. 
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