Refund looks out of sight for customers left high and dry by Chippenham business (From This Is Wiltshire)
Refund looks out of sight for customers left high and dry by Chippenham business
1:00pm Friday 1st November 2013 in Latest News
Customers who lost their money to a Chippenham optical outlet that suddenly left town fear they may never recover it.
Last week the Gazette reported how Simply Specs cleared out of its Bumpers Farm premises and left no contact details for people who had made payments and were waiting for their glasses.
One aggrieved customer, who posted his phone number on the window of the empty unit in Cavalier Court, said he has taken calls from 43 people in the same position and estimates the amount they are owed totals up to £15,000.
He said he has been told by police that they are powerless to act, so has reported the matter to the Central Fraud Office in London.
Among the customers who have lost out are 84-year-old Nick Nicoll, from Chippenham, who said he had “written off” the £464 he paid by debit card “as a dead duck”.
“I’m disappointed because I’ve dealt with them for a number of years and they were such a nice bunch of people, always so pleasant,” he said.
“If they go into administration we’ll be at the bottom of the list to recover debt.”
Tim Edge, 56, who lives in Calne, paid £240 by debit card and said he was advised by police to try to recover the money through his bank.
He said: “The people I feel sorry for are the ones who paid with cash. I can’t see them getting that back.”
Theres Keller, 77, of Heddington near Calne may have more luck in recovering her money because she used a credit card.
Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, the credit card company is jointly liable for any breach of contract by the company.
So if a consumer spent more than £100 and paid even partially by credit card, they can put a claim in to the credit card company for the full total of goods bought.
Mrs Keller said: “My son lives in Switzerland and he ordered some £400 sunglasses. When the bubble envelope arrived in the post it was empty. They [Simply Specs in Chippenham] told him they would resend them.
“I was very disappointed of course, like everybody else.”