A frustrated businessman has revealed he paid £3,000 to a tailored suit company in return for six suits to be made, only for the company to go bust and leave him thousands of pounds out of pocket, with nothing to show for it.
Dominic Hall, from Hertforshire, has spent years trying to get his money back from A Suit That Fits after the company refused to hand over the paid for tailored suits and failed to give him a refund for the money he had already spent.
Unfortunately, the company went into administration – but the owner subsequently setting up a similar business under a different trading name, Tailored Franchises Ltd.
When trying to get a refund after he realised the business was no longer trading, Dominic, 31, was advised that nothing could be done, leaving him wondering how consumers could be given so little rights.
A Suit That Fits took money from customers but then never delivered the suits promised
The problems started in September 2015 when Dominic made an appointment with A Suit That Fits hoping to have a couple of suits made for him.
At the time, he did not foresee there to be any problems as he had previously used the firm with no issues.
He attended around 10 meetings in London with a style adviser before this member of staff abruptly quit, apparently to become a DJ in Ibiza, or so Dominic was told.
The adviser was replaced by someone else who worked in the capital, which was frustrating as the whole process of measurements had to start again, with Dominic having to commute in each time.
He saw her six times between October 2015 and the end of June 2016 but wasn’t impressed with the service.
He said: ‘I received a pair of trousers that ripped the same evening alongside a suit jacket that was laughably large.
‘I was astounded given that they had my measurements from the first suit made in 2013 and I have not changed body shape or put on weight since then.’
The bad service and lack of suits provided led to Dominic making a complaint to the company on 28 June 2016 – but this simply resulted in a complete breakdown of communication between him and the company.
Dominic was frustrated to find that A Suit That Fits weren’t responding to any communication
Dominic attempted to get a refund for the money paid over but A Suit That Fits insisted that their agreement specified that he had to go through the full process again in order for him to be eligible for a refund.
He found himself speaking to multiple members of staff and after raising the point that he had paid thousands of pounds and after a year had still not received a single suit, he said he was then ‘stonewalled’.
This is Money rang the number provided on the Trustpilot page of A Suit That Fits but it cut off straight away. We also emailed the address provided but received no reply.
No further contact details were available.
The last contact Dominic had from a Suit That Fits was on 19 March 2018 which said it had commenced the process of liquidation and as such, it was unable to consider his request for a refund.
However, it seems that, despite not being able to deliver suits promised in 2016, the company went on trading until the beginning of January last year.
The other company that A Suit That Fits owner set up after it failed, Tailored Franchises Ltd, has also now gone into liquidation meaning it has been very difficult for Dominic to get in contact with anyone from the firm.
Unfortunately, as Dominic had paid by debit card, rather than on credit card, he has been left with far fewer options of getting his money back.
Whilst those with credit cards and debits can use the chargeback scheme to try and claw back some money, this usually has to be done within 120 days of the purchase being made.
Although he contacted his bank about a refund at the time, this came to no avail. He had been led on by the firm for many months before he realised they were stalling, meaning he was too late to claim on chargeback.
He said: ‘I held off on legal action previously as the cost seemed prohibitive and the status of the actual company was unclear.’
Online reviews of A Suit That Fits reflect Dominic’s comments with many claiming they, too, are out of pocket.
This customer said he assumes he must have lost the money as no one has ever contacted him
One reviewer said he cannot get in touch with the company via any method of communication
What can you do if you’ve paid a firm that has gone bust?
What can consumers actually do if they’ve paid a company for goods but it goes into liquidation?
Adam French, consumer rights expert at Which?, said: ‘Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of protection afforded to consumers when companies goes bust.
‘This is why we recommend always using your credit card when paying for any high ticket items as this offers more protection. It is also important to act quickly when something like this happens.’
Customers could use the chargeback scheme to try and get their money back. This works by the customers bank trying to get the owed money back from the supplier’s bank.
It is a voluntary scheme but many banks and debit card companies are signed up.
However, this can usually only be claimed on to a maximum of 120 days after purchase.
Consumers are encouraged to buy expensive items on credit card so they have protection
Customers using their credit cards can try Section 75 which means they can claim money back from their bank if the purchase was between £100 and £30,000 and something goes wrong.
French added: ‘When a company has gone bust, they cease to exist meaning there is no one to claim against so when it comes to enforcing your legal rights it can be very difficult.
‘Customers can put in claim to the firms liquidators and they will be put on a list. Whoever is at the top of the list, which is usually the tax man, will be paid first and this will be followed by whoever is owed the most money.
However, customers can only usually expect pence back to every pound they have spent.
‘It is also always worth checking what you could possibly claim on your home insurance. The likelihood that it covers you for something like this is slim but it is worth looking.’
The case highlights that a small deposit could be a wise option before receiving the goods, rather than paying for it all up front.
A spokesperson for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute added: ‘I feel very sorry for this consumer and I am afraid that when a business becomes insolvent there is little that the consumer can do to reclaim what they have paid over.
‘We all take the businesses that we deal with with at face value and trust them to deliver what we have paid them but, sadly, for all sorts of reasons businesses do fail.
‘Therefore consumers should always try and pay for any goods costing more that £100 by a credit card if they have one.
‘No matter how much of the purchase price is paid using the credit card, the credit card company are equally liable, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, for any breach of contract.
‘Payments using a debit card are also protected, through the banks chargeback rules, so it would be worth the consumer contacting their bank to ask them to look into this transaction, particularly because payment was taken some time earlier and the order was not fulfilled.
‘This is not a statutory right, so would be a matter for negotiation with the bank.’
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