Rehome unloved Xmas gifts

BRITISH shoppers spent £652 million on unwanted Christmas presents last year – the equivalent to £16 per person.

Of the 10 gifts the average person received at least one was left unloved under the tree, revealed a survey for online auction site eBay.

Almost a quarter of those aged 16 to 34 said they usually sold unwanted gifts, and thousands admitted that they started the process on Christmas Day itself.

But if you want to show a little more festive spirit, there is another way of rehoming presents that could also make a difference.

JumbleAID - the brainchild of West Yorkshire entrepreneurs Simon Pailin and Carl Hopkins - allows people to donate their presents in a bid to raise money for charity while reducing the amount of things thrown into landfill.

Generous "gifters" post details about the unwanted online and pick a charity from more than 25,000 UK charities listed.

Interested buyers pledge donations.

The "seller" chooses their favourite "pledger" and any money raised goes to the selected charity.

JumbleAID is backed by Barnado's, World Vision and the Prince's Trust.

If 1 per cent of the adult population of the UK were to put just one unwanted Christmas gift on to the website with an average donation of 2, nearly 1.5 million per year would be raised for charity claimed Simon.

He said it was free to join and simple to use, adding: "We've all received gifts at Christmas that we just don't want.

"Maybe they are duplicate or just plain wrong.

"To prevent these items from ending up in landfill, we're asking people to find that last bit of Christmas spirit in themselves and do a good deed by listing their dud gifts on JumbleAID.com. Chances are, there is a better home out there for these items and you will be raising valuable funds for charity at the same time."

But not everyone will be trying to give away unwanted gifts.

Some are just keen to get a refund.

But West Yorkshire Trading Standards is reminding people that they do not have an automatic right to get a refund or even an exchange.

However, you may be able to take advantage of a shop's goodwill.

Legally, you are only entitled to a refund if an item is not as described, not fit for purpose or not of satisfactory quality.

But remember that usually it is only the gift buyer who has that right as they are the ones that entered into a contract with the retailer.

A way round this is if you get a gift receipt at the time of sale.

If you have used a product for a period of time, you may lose the right to a full reimbursement of the costs of the item, but you may be entitled to a repair, replacement or a partial refund.

Many shops will offer goodwill policies and will allow you to exchange goods for other items or credit notes, although this is not a legal obligation.

Some stores will offer returns policies which will allow you to exchange unwanted items, obtain a credit note or a refund, but these are not obligatory and shops can set their own terms and conditions.

If you are asking for a refund or an exchange, you will normally be expected to provide a proof of purchase such as a receipt or a bank/credit card statement.

However, the situation can be different for goods bought online.

Online shoppers usually have the right to cancel their orders for up to seven working days after delivery, so buyers who received goods just before Christmas may have a small window of opportunity after the big day to cancel and request a "no quibble" refund.

For more information call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

Cul-de-sac residents' service is rubbish

bins have only been emptied twice in 10 weeks for residents living in a small cul-de-sac in Horsforth.

Clare Tiffin, 38, who lives off Scotland Lane said that she refuses to take the rubbish to the tip as she pays for bin collections.

Until Friday she had two full black wheelie bins parked at the end of her drive and about six full bags.

She says she understands that her house - which is located on an unadopted road - is hard to find. But after years of disruption, she wants reassurance that she will get a regular service.

"It is a bit of a nightmare at the moment," she said. "We have been storing rubbish in the garden but the bin bags are constantly being torn open by wildlife such as foxes.

"I am trying to burn as much as I can on our open fire, but it is making the whole place look a mess."

New bin routes were introduced in Leeds on October 25, but Clare said that her and her neighbours' bins were often forgotten even before then.

Roadworks on Ivegate at Yeadon will be finished in the New Year after a two year wait. A detailed inspection revealed that engineers will have to rebuild one of the supporting walls of an underground chamber.

HORSFORTH

Eight homes on Scotland Lane are regularly being missed by binmen.

Who is responsible? Leeds City Council on 0113 222 444.

First reported: Today

Day 1

YEADON

Roadworks that have left Ivegate in a mess for 24 months need ?nishing

Who is responsible? Leeds City Council on 0113 222 444.

First reported: May 31

Day 189

OSMONDTHORPE

Grit bins are needed on an estate where four were vandalised and never replaced.

Who is responsible? Leeds City Council on 0113 222 444.

First reported: December 20

Day 7

Motorist driven round the bend by garage

A web designer lost faith in a Leeds car garage after he spent more than 1,000 on repairs for the same apparent fault to reappear days later.

Sam Leaver, 27, left his Volkswagen Polo with IVC Leeds in Holbeck for two months while they tried to find out what had triggered a warning light on his car's dashboard.

When the problem was finally fixed Mr Leaver reluctantly paid the 1,143 repair bill.

Two days later he was horrified to notice the same light had come back on.

Sam said: "All I know is that I took my car in, spent a lot of money and I am back in the same situation.

"At the time I thought that the car was fixed. They said that it was all sorted. Now it's running fine but the engine light's back on.

"I am not going back to the garage. I plan to sell the car."

Consumerwatch spoke to Graham Alderson, co-owner of IVC on Pontefract Road in Holbeck, who said in 27 years of business this was one of the most tricky engine faults he has come across.

He apologised for the length of time it took to fix the vehicle, and said he would not charge Mr Leaver if he wanted the garage to look at the new fault.

Mr Alderson said: "Mr Leaver had a horrendous problem that we struggled like mad to sort.

"The car was even sent off to a trouble shooter for Audi and he couldn't sort it. It's been one of those jobs."

He added: "I have been as good as I can with it. It's probably cost us 1,500 but we charged him 1,100. We gave him a courtesy car - albeit an old one - for free.

"He caught us in a period when we are very busy and we tried to keep his cost down.

"We didn't charge him for the EGR valve or the throttle body - that wouldn't have been fair as it turned out to be the valve guides.

"We charged for eight hours labour but probably spent more like 20 hours on the car. We have asked him to come in and talk to us, but he has refused.

"It could be as simple as a bulb that needs replacing, but unless he comes in I cannot say what it is."

Graham Pearce of KPMG

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