Each week former trading standards officer Richard Thomson answers your questions.
Q I wrote to you recently about a problem with an MoT and Fareham Car Centre.
Thanks to your intervention I had a visit from the owner and a settlement was agreed. Another success for you.
A It is always gratifying when readers tell me the outcome of their problem.
What started out as a misunderstanding over the definition of a ‘full MoT’ has quickly been resolved by Fareham Car Centre.
Your gripe illustrates how a relatively small issue with a customer can reflect on the good reputation of a business.
If the publication of your issue gave readers the impression Fareham Car Centre is not dedicated to giving their customers a square deal, I am more than happy to set the record straight and apologise.
Q Based on a sample I saw in a DIY store, I ordered replacement tiles for my bathroom.
When they were delivered the colour didn’t match the sample. When I spoke to the store manager about it, he said I must expect some variation in colour from the original, and refused to take them back.
Can you advise me where I stand please?
A The strict legal position is that if you buy goods based on a sample, then they should match the sample. If not you can reject them for a full refund.
Be warned however. Most DIY stores display manufacturers’ disclaimers about products that can have natural variations.
Goods made from wood for example may have inherent imperfections, and handmade fabrics, utensils, or tiles can vary in texture, shape, and colour.
It would be unusual if a warning about this was not displayed in the store.
If you ordered or bought the tiles in full knowledge about potential colour variations, you will not legally be entitled to a refund.
Q I bought a holiday package from a travel agent who also insisted I also bought their insurance.
Is this right, and can I buy my own insurance?
A This will depend on whether the insurance is an integral part of the package.
If insurance was not an inclusive part of the deal, then you can buy it from any insurer, or even not insure at all, although travelling without insurance is not recommended.
Travel agents or tour operators cannot charge you extra for refusing to buy insurance from them.
Richard Thomson is a former trading standards officer with many years experience. If you have a question, e-mail him at email@example.com and wherever possible he will try to provide practical assistance. Unfortunately he cannot guarantee to respond to every letter or e-mail. Richard Thomson welcomes letters from readers on consumer issues. Replies are intended to give general help or advice, not a complete statement of law.