I like to send the odd e-mail out complaining, and occasionally I even get a response to the crap that I write.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to The Northcote in Clapham Junction, and was offended by what they termed as gravy. So offended that I thought it probably broke the Trade Descriptions Act. So I got out my imaginary inkpad and started warbling away to Trading Standards.
I went to The Northcote pub in Clapham Junction yesterday and ordered a roast dinner.
On their printed menu, they suggested that the Yorkshire pudding (and therefore I assume the roast dinner) came with “real gravy”.
However, when the dinner arrived, it was of the most watery consistency that I had experienced for some time and really cannot be classified as “real gravy” in my opinion.
This could possibly break Trading Standard’s description of gravy – do you have a particular viscosity that something must be to be classed as gravy?
As this was just flavoured water. As a accompaniment I have no taste complaint, but as a northerner I do feel that there is a minimum viscosity required for something to be advertised as gravy, let alone “real gravy”.
I look forward to your kind response.
Dear Lord Gravy,
Thank you for your enquiry to the Citizens Advice consumer service dated 2nd of April 2018.
Your reference number is xxxxxxxxxxxxx and should be quoted for any further correspondence in relation to this issue.
We understand from your email you have an issue with the gravy a trader has provided, and you would like advice in regards to this.
Your rights and obligations:
Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, any service should be performed in accordance with information about the service.
For a breach of performance of contract not be in accordance with information about service, you may be able to seek redress. You could look to request a repeat performance from the trader; any repeat performance should be provided free of charge, within reasonable time, and not cause significant inconvenience.
If a repeat performance is impossible, can’t be done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience you may be able to claim a price reduction; this could be up to 100%, depending on the severity of the breach. Any refund should be provided within 14 days of the refund being agreed and via the same payment method.
The burden of proof is on yourself as the consumer, therefore you will need to provide evidence that the trader has not used performed the contract in accordance with information about the service whilst carrying out the service.
You may be able to claim consequential losses; these would typically be any losses you have suffered as a direct result of the trader not performing the contract in accordance with information about service. You would need to provide evidence of any losses you have incurred and any losses would need to be kept as low as possible.
As you’ve paid by debit card, we would suggest contacting your bank to see if they offer a chargeback scheme. Chargeback is not a legal requirement; it’s voluntary and will be bound by its own terms and conditions.
This could be an alternative way of seeking redress.
Unfortunately, Trading Standards wouldn’t be able to provide a description on what they believe is Real Gravy. We would recommend to bare in mind that it may be difficult to pursue as a description of real gravy is opinionated.
Your next steps:
We would suggest that you contact the trader and request a copy of their formal complaints procedure and follow this. If the trader does not have a complaints procedure, we recommend you send a letter outlining the reasons for your complaint.
We would suggest setting a reasonable deadline for a response, keeping a copy of any correspondence for your records and sending any letters by recorded delivery; that way the mail will be tracked and signed for.
Template letters can be found here (https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/template-letters/letters/), and a sample of recorded delivery can be found here (https://www.royalmail.com/personal/uk-delivery/signed-for-1st-class).
As part of your complaint we would recommend you ask the trader if they are a member of an Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme (ADR) or, if they’re not, would they be willing to use a non-membership based scheme.
ADR schemes are independent bodies that offer services such as arbitration or mediation if your complaint is still unresolved after following the trader’s complaints process.
What we’ll do:
We will notify Trading Standards of information you have provided, there is no commitment for them to contact you directly, and they will only contact you if they deem it necessary. Whilst this does not help you resolve your dispute, it gives Trading Standards vital intelligence on how a trader is conducting their business.
If you would like to discuss this further please call us on 03454 04 05 06 or reply to this email.
Citizens Advice consumer service
I have decided not to take the complaint any further.