/ Returning mail order harness after trying on at home

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mikehike on 11 Nov 2013
Mail order shop refuse to accept harness back on safety grounds, they say it would be illegal to do so.

Below is the harness.
http://www.ldmountaincentre.com/climbing-c4/equipment-c5/harnesses-c76/petzl-corax-climbing-harness-...

We wanted it to fit waist size 32" waist, the waist range is 29.5 upwards size 2. When trying it on it seems too big.

Whats the law on returns please.

stewieatb on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:

Unfortunately the Distance Selling Regulations and some EU safety laws on PPE contradict each other. I'm not sure which has priority.
itsThere on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: Nothing you can do, it even says so on the website.

"Please Note: We are unable to accept any returns on Underwear, Electronics, DVDs or items governed by PPE Law (Snowsport and Climbing Helmets, Climbing Hardware, Climbing Ropes, Iceaxes or Crampons.) "
Oliiver - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: To be honest, you should of read their returns policy before hand. They're not going to budge.
lazzaw - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to stewieatb: From their site - We are unable to accept any returns on Underwear, Electronics, DVDs or items governed by PPE Law (Snowsport and Climbing Helmets, Climbing Hardware, Climbing Ropes, Iceaxes or Crampons.)

Harnesses would fall within PPE law but, as they are not mentioned in that list, I can see why you could assume you can return it. I suspect they are correct but you could appeal to their discretion as the wording of the returns exclusions has mislead you. It could also be a good PR exercise for them. At least ask for a reduction if you buy a different sized harness and stick the unwanted one on Ebay
whenry on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: Banana Fingers will take back harnesses that don't fit if they haven't been used, other places (like Go Outdoors) won't. LD's terms say that they won't accept climbing equipment back unless it's faulty... whilst they don't have to accept returns on safety grounds, I'd have thought that you'd have a decent case that you should be able to return an unused harness based on the distance selling regulations (7 days to change your mind).
Oceanrower - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: A bit of devils advocate here, but, as I understand it, PPE equipment is exempt from V.A.T. and is only applicable to work items.

Therefore, if they've charged you V.A.T. It isn't an item of PPE.

Therefore you can return it.


Well, worth a try................
Ian McNeill - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:

> We wanted it to fit waist size 32" waist, the waist range is 29.5 upwards size 2. When trying it on it seems too big.

less exercise and more pies youth !

you'll soon grow into it !
itsThere on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower: I cant see anywhere thats says the harness is a PPE item.
Oceanrower - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to itsThere: I was replying to this bit from lazzaw.

"Harnesses would fall within PPE law but, as they are not mentioned in that list, I can see why you could assume you can return it. I suspect they are correct but you could appeal to their discretion as the wording of the returns exclusions has mislead you. It could also be a good PR exercise for them. At least ask for a reduction if you buy a different sized harness and stick the unwanted one on Ebay"
jimtitt - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to Oceanrower:
> (In reply to mikehike) A bit of devils advocate here, but, as I understand it, PPE equipment is exempt from V.A.T. and is only applicable to work items.
>
> Therefore, if they've charged you V.A.T. It isn't an item of PPE.
>
> Therefore you can return it.
>
>
> Well, worth a try................

PPE is nothing to do with working (except you might work using it). Harnesses are PPE as are nearly all items of climbing equipment and may be exempted from the distance selling rules under;- `..... or which by reason of their nature cannot be returned or are liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly;
Oceanrower - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to jimtitt: My mistake. The bit of the VAT regs I was referring to only applies to boots and helmets.
SCrossley on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: I would not go down the 7 days change your mind tack but rather the not fit for purpose angle. If you know someone who is qualified, MIA? get them to assess if the Harness is too big, if they say it is and are prepared to put this in writing, then it is arguable that the harness is not fit for the purpose of fitting someone of upwards of 29.5" if it is too big for someone of 32". Also if this is the case you may also be able to involve the credit card company but maybe if only over 100, not sure on that one. Also if it says it fits someone of 29.5" upwards and it does not that is also misdiscription.
You use the phrase "seems too big" which is not good enough IMHO in this situation.
EddInaBox on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:

According to the information on the Petzl website the size 2 Corax should adjust between 75 - 105 cm / 29.5 - 41.5 inches. I doubt Petzl have got this wrong so my guess is that you need to unthread the webbing from the last keeper on either side of the padded band to allow it to adjust to the 29.5 inch limit.
gethin_allen on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:
I'd agree with the shop that it's PPE and that you're stuck with it if the item is as described. Surely you understand that they can't sell this item onwards if they can't vouch for it's history; would you buy a harness knowing that it had been in the possession of some unaccountable stranger who could have done anything at all to it?

Suck it up and learn a valuable lesson about why you pay a premium going to a proper shop. The sad thing is that if you went to a certain large blue fronted outdoor shop and told them it was x cheaper at LD mountain centre they would have sold it to 10% cheaper again.
kestrelspl on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to gethin_allen: I'm fairly sure the distance selling regulations apply here, safety equipment or PPE is not listed in the exemptions here:
http://dshub.tradingstandards.gov.uk/explained
mikehike on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to EddInaBox:
Well Edd you hit the nail on the head.
My work buddy who the harness is for had tried it on and commented how it was almost fully tightened up with no further leeway. It was at that point I contacted the store, being mindful we must not use the harness or remove the tags. The assistant mentioned un-threading the webbing and sure enough it now fits.

Im not surprised it cant be returned and I had not read the T&C's but the statement "Hassle Free Returns" on the very page the harness is advertised is very misleading.

Anyways, panic over.

mh
EddInaBox on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:

Smug mode: On.
Simon2005 on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: Had exactly the same problem as you. Same harness, same retailer. However, the harness will fit. Some nice guy from the distributor rang me to explain how to sort it. Sorry but I can't remember the detail but try ringing the Petzl distributor (Lyon equipment) and they will put you right.
Katie86 - on 11 Nov 2013
In reply to gethin_allen:

This also applies in a place that sounds like "throw and sock", also a red fronted outdoor shop does get some great deals.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Jim Hamilton - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to kestrelspl:
> (In reply to gethin_allen) I'm fairly sure the distance selling regulations apply here, safety equipment or PPE is not listed in the exemptions here:
> http://dshub.tradingstandards.gov.uk/explained

After a quick look at the link I would agree. Just because the shop says it excludes returns as it's "PPE" (so is hi-viz clothing btw), I assume that doesn't mean it can overide DS regulations ? - and I wouldn't have thought they could get away with the "liable to deteriorate or expire rapidly" exemption for a harness! If "Health and Safety" was such a concern then no seller should be able to take returns.
franksnb - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike: undo some stitching, send it back with a 'manufacturing fault'.
Papa Lazarus - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to franksnb:

You dick.
jimtitt - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
The problem is that the useful life of PPE may be as short as one event, a retailer has no way of telling if a customer has used up the life of the product and therefore can refuse its return.
GrahamD - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to mikehike:

Put it this way: would you be happy buying a harness that someone else had tried on in an unspecified environment ? (in a garage, maybe, where they kept their spare car battery ?)
Neil Williams - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to GrahamD:

No, though in this case if it was mis-sold the selling company loses. Did the OP ask if it was suitable for a 32" waist? Does the seller's website indicate this suitability? If it does, IMO it was missold and should be refunded regardless of whether that means the supplier has to bin it.

Neil
Neil Williams - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

(By the way I have the older version of that harness in size 2 and it is *very* adjustable - I have a 38" waist but I think it would easily go down to 32, though you would have to overlap the padded bits it will fit).

Neil
MJ - on 12 Nov 2013
In reply to Neil Williams:

Did the OP ask if it was suitable for a 32" waist? Does the seller's website indicate this suitability? If it does, IMO it was missold and should be refunded regardless of whether that means the supplier has to bin it.

The OP has already stated, that on advice from the shop and after some further adjustment, that the harness now fits.

franksnb - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Papa Lazarus: why thank you. My point being the retailer is twisting the rules to suit them. why not do it back, as manufacturing faults have to be accepted back.

your point was..
kestrelspl on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to jimtitt: Well no, it is very inconvenient for the retailer to accept its return, but they still can't refuse as they'd be violating the distance selling regulations which have no exemption for PPE.
Jim Hamilton - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to kestrelspl:

I guessing it's the "by nature of its use" exemption the retailer is relying on, but is that really intended to apply to something like a climbing harness ? Looking at a couple of specialist PPE online retailers, I can't see that their terms are quite as inflexible as many of the outdoor retailers.
Neil Williams - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I know people do, but I personally would not buy a used harness, and I would be quite angry if I found out that one I bought as new had in fact been sent to a customer, taken out of the pack and potentially used or damaged.

Neil
jimtitt - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to kestrelspl:
> (In reply to jimtitt) Well no, it is very inconvenient for the retailer to accept its return, but they still can't refuse as they'd be violating the distance selling regulations which have no exemption for PPE.

They can, will and do refuse returns of PPE, the exemption is quite clear. Virtually all outdoor retailers have this policy, for example Cotswolds:- "*Policy on climbing equipment and helmet returns
Please note that for the safety of all our customers, we are unable to exchange or issue a refund for any new or unused climbing equipment and all helmets (including Ski) once it has left our premises."
Whether their intepretation of the regulations is correct is a matter for a court judgement and until then they are legally within their rights to continue.
Jim Hamilton - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to jimtitt:

A brief look at retailers websites in the popular climbing areas, and as far as I can see Joe Browns, Needle Sports, and Outside do not have this policy. The Cotwolds one seems particularly bonkers.

Retailers can put all sorts of stuff in their T&C's but I assume that doesn't necessarily make it enforcible.
jimtitt - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:
Take them to court then, Im sure the retail trade will be happy to have some clarity on the matter possibly at your expense!
Neil Williams - on 14 Nov 2013
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

Cotswold's should probably say "unless it is found to be defective", though it probably also says "this does not affect your statutory rights" which effectively means that.

I personally think the DSR are unfair on retailers. If you wish to return for no reason other than changing your mind, IMO you should remain liable for the postage in both directions.

Neil

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