It's time to cry over spilt milk... or gin

I recently came across an article about a missing bottle of gin that had left a bit of a hangover on an online shopping experience - but the "undiluted" message came across to me loud and clear: many companies are still just not geared up towards more vulnerable people in society - and it's about time we did something about it.

At the be-gin-ing

The mishap related to a Sainsbury's home delivery that a lady had ordered on behalf of her 84 year old mother, who was holding a party and needed several things from the supermarket - including a large bottle of gin.

Very sadly indeed, the bottle didn't arrive with the order, nor was it substituted. Not only did this hugely inconvenience the lady and her mother - as well as put a bit of a spanner in the works for the party plans - 16 days on and Sainsbury's has still failed to process a refund.

The reason? It's because the daughter is trying to act upon her mother's behalf and, even though she has Lasting Powers of Attorney and able to access finances, bank accounts, pay bills, etc., Sainsbury's is still refusing to accept that she is responsible for securing her mother's refund for the missing bottle of gin. They insist they need to speak to the cardholder, i.e. her mother, to process the refund.

You’ll need an LPA

A Lasting Power of Attorney, or an LPA, is a legal document that allows an individual - or "donor" - to nominate someone - an "attorney" - to act on their behalf if they become too ill to do so themselves.

There are two types of LPA, one is financial, which allows an attorney to access bank accounts of the donor, pay bills, and other things on their behalf, and the other is a medical LPA that allows for any specific medical treatment a donor may wish to receive.

It should mean that under an active LPA, which his lady had for her mother, Sainsbury's should have simply asked to see a copy in order to deal with the missing transaction. Something that should have been straightforward and dealt with in a couple of hours had dragged on for the customer over more than a fortnight.

More training needed

It all boils down to staff training and if big companies like Sainsbury's are getting it wrong, how many other companies out there causing unnecessary headaches for their customers?

If you are looking into drafting an LPA, or you think you've been mistreated by a company despite having an LPA in place, contact the Private Client team at Downs Solicitors for more information.

Liz Dalgetty

Liz Dalgetty

Consultant Solicitor & Notary Public

Tel: +44 (0) 1306 502251

Office: Dorking Office

Email: [email protected]