CCNMatthews UK Limited

February 25, 2005 07:06 ET

Spring Brides & Weddings - free editorial feature for use at will



FEBRUARY 25, 2005 - 07:06 ET

Spring Brides & Weddings - free editorial feature for
use at will

LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - Feb. 25, 2005) -

Will your Wedding List be a write-off?

Every bride dreads being left without a groom on her special day: but
imagine if your wedding presents didn't turn up either!

Recent collapses of national retailers Allders and Courts follow dotcom
wedding list specialist, The Gift Registry. This should alert couples
getting engaged to the need to protect the generosity of family and
friends and so avoid losing not only gifts, but also deposits and
payments for goods that might never arrive.

This warning comes from the UK's biggest legal expenses insurer DAS,
which helps millions of people protect their rights and also runs
24-hour helplines giving practical and professional legal advice on such

So what can you do if the retailer and your gifts list sink without

Firstly, consider your options before committing to any wedding list
supplier. "It is becoming increasingly popular to set up a savings
account managed by the couples' parents", says Rhian Gait-Rosser, DAS
Advice Manager. "Once the money is in the account, it is used to pay for
the gifts in the order of the couples' preferences. And ensure that
withdrawals can only be made against the couple's joint signatures to
avoid the temptation for anyone to abscond to Bermuda on the proceeds!"

Secondly, if you do commit your list to a retailer, ask the relevant
questions at the outset. Rhian recommends asking:

* Will deposits be secure?
* Is delivery guaranteed at a specified time?
* Is the retailer insured for liability if it fails?

Also, if you have any wedding insurance, check to see if it covers the
insolvency of a company that the wedding gifts are ordered from

However family or friends wishing to protect themselves against the
insolvency of a retailer may like to consider using credit cards to
purchase wedding gifts. S75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 makes the credit
card provider liable for any breaches of contract or misrepresentations
concerning the gifts.

In order for this to apply, goods must have been purchased on a credit
card regulated by the Act. Goods purchased by debit card or even credit
card cheques are not covered. Secondly the cash price of the goods must
be between GBP 100 and GBP 30,000. Rhian adds: "The effect of this is
that the credit card provider remains liable even if the retailer goes

For those concerned about credit card security, particularly when using
the Internet, again there is protection under the law. Generally the
maximum liability a cardholder can face for loss from someone using the
card without their authority is GBP 50 before the card provider is
notified and nothing afterwards. For internet and other purchases made
by means of distance communication such as the phone the news is even
better as the card holder generally has no liability for unauthorised
use of their card on most goods purchased."

The same good advice applies to honeymoon bookings. A small additional
charge for paying the travel agent or airline by credit card could save
tears if problems arise later.

If you have lost your presents through the failure of a retailer, draw
up an action plan that is a detailed as the one for your wedding!

In general:

* Contact the retailer

* Consult the credit card companies

* Check with external finance companies such as those providing extended
interest-free arrangements

* See whether your bank can stop recent cheque payments, if the retailer
has confirmed that they will not be supplying the goods.

* Advise friends and relatives what to do

Those with legal expenses insurance can check ask their Helpline
advisers about problems specific to their own circumstances.

Don't let a retailer bust your wedding day balloons and turn a Valentine
promise into a spring bride disaster.

DAS wishes you a happy, prosperous and financially secure married life!

* Do you have legal protection? Around 33 million people in the UK have
legal expenses insurance attached to household insurance policies, the
majority with DAS. Check your insurance policy documents for details
including legal advice helpline numbers, or contact an insurance
broker or home insurer.

March 2005


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