SALLY SORTS IT: Boots told me to return a £3,345 hearing aid but the French Post lost it!
I am 80 years old and take care of my husband, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
In January this year he underwent a hearing test at Boots Hearing Care in Stockport, Greater Manchester and was advised to have a pair of aids at a cost of £3,345.
We were told if he couldn’t deal with them they could be returned within three months and we would get our money back.
I persisted trying to get him to wear them, but to no avail. I kept finding them in different places and pockets. It all came to a head when we recently vacationed in France with family and he flatly refused to have anything to do with the aids again.
With the three month deadline approaching to return the hearing aids for a refund, I called Boots Hearing Care head office in Llandudno and asked if they would extend the deadline by three days as I was on holiday but would like to take a person to where we bought them as soon as we got back.
Refund refused: A reader’s husband has refused to have anything to do with his expensive hearing aids, but Boots has refused to refund the £3,345 cost
The person I spoke to flatly refused and told me to send them back to her with a tracking number and she would refund the money.
My son in law stepped in and asked if they could be more flexible as we have spent thousands of euros over many years on glasses and my own hearing aids but to no avail. She was convinced they had to be posted.
We then wasted half a day of our holiday looking for a post office and spent €100 (£86) on postage and insurance. But the resources went missing. Now I’m afraid we won’t get our refund and it’s money we can’t afford to lose.
Sally Hamilton replies: What a classic, groundbreaking response you got when you made the perfectly logical suggestion to return the unwanted hearing aids safely and personally, even if it meant delaying the refund period by three days. Your plea simply fell on deaf ears.
The extra cost and hassle you had to deal with packing and shipping the devices from France to the UK was annoying enough. But unfortunately, the stuff never made it to Boots headquarters.
The parcel turned out to be stuck in Folkestone harbour, from where, after sitting on a shelf in a sorting room for a few days, it was mysteriously returned to France. Customs officials may have found that import duties should be paid on the contents of your package.
Of course, you were upset and thought you wouldn’t see the hearing aids again – and that you’d say goodbye to your refund.
When you notified the same woman at Boots who was so adamant about posting the devices, she had a sudden bout of sanity and told you that the company was going to extend the deadline anyway, to give you time to locate the package.
You were annoyed (and I expect some choice words were muttered). You attempted to track the hearing aids through the French postal company Chronopost, which informed you that the package had been returned to the sender: you. This was wrong because you knew it had been sent back to France.
Since then, despite numerous phone calls at considerable expense and emailing of documents and shipping receipts, along with tracking numbers, the package has remained with Chronopost. The language barrier compounded your problems, making it difficult to file a claim with the French insurer.
It seems clear to me that the tools were lost in the mail through no fault of yours, so I’ve asked Boots to look into this. His response was quick and decisive. It was confirmed before the end of the day that your £3,345 would be refunded. It sounded like music to your ears.
A Boots spokesperson said: ‘We are pleased to confirm that this issue has now been resolved and that JM has received a full refund. We strive to provide exceptional customer service to all customers and are sorry that our high standards were not met on this occasion.”
It also earned you Boots Loyalty Points equivalent to the €100 shipping cost.
Cannot get a refund for Abba tickets
Earlier this year I booked tickets for my husband, me and two friends to attend the Abba Voyage show in London on the 6th August, at a cost of £417.
Tragically, our friends’ adult son passed away suddenly in July. With no cause of death determined yet, the funeral cannot be arranged and their lives are in total uncertainty.
They are unable to talk to us about anything at this time let alone move the date of the concert.
I contacted the agent, Ticketmaster, via the chat line to see if I could get a refund in this most extreme of circumstances, but they insisted there was no way without insurance. We did not consider insurance as we could not imagine such a situation occurring.
The best I could get from the agent was the offer to rebook for a future date. I have no idea when or if our friends will be willing to do that. Neither have we, for we, too, have been devastated by the events.
The chat line was useless and no sympathy was shown. It seems I can’t find any other way to contact a real human being at Ticketmaster to talk to. I hope you can help.
Name and address provided.
Sally Hamilton replies: You expected some sensitivity from Ticketmaster when bringing up this most difficult request, but were sorely disappointed.
You even suggested in the website’s online chat that the company could just give you a credit and reserve the £417 for an undetermined date in the future.
Unfortunately, the chat service has not provided you with this kind of help or flexibility. You might have had better luck asking an Abba avatar for help.
I contacted the ticket company and asked if it would use discretion under the circumstances and make it as easy as possible for you to just refund the money.
I am pleased to say that the response was prompt, and this time we agreed without hesitation to refund you in full.
A spokesperson says: ‘This is not the level of service we want to offer. Our teams are reviewing our process to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
- Write to Sally Hamilton of Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email firstname.lastname@example.org – include telephone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organization stating they are given permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send any original documents as we cannot take responsibility for this. The Daily Mail cannot accept legal liability for answers provided.
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