I returned to the store, swopped it with a similar one on display and left. I was stopped, taken into a room and questioned and my name and address demanded. The room was locked and although they said they were NOT calling me a thief, they treated me like one.
A you were not wise to take a replacement purse without checking with staff. Legally, you were entitled to do this or to get your money back, but I can understand the store suspecting your motives. That said, they had no right to detain you and, if you were held against your will, you would be entitled to sue. Equally, they had no right to your details, although if they were not convinced of your story, they might have called the police which would have been a different story. So, frankly, both of you got the procedures wrong. I am just glad you did not end up in court, having to explain yourself to a sheriff.
Q I sent money – euros and sterling – to Ireland for my sister's birthday via a specially protected mail service. The envelope got as far as Heathrow before disappearing.
I have made a claim but have been offered back only the £8 postage. I needed a receipt for the euros – my brother got them but didn't keep the receipt. I sent the company the receipt for the pounds, but they are still not convinced.
A Sorry I can't help, but I can't really blame them. These days sending cash by post is dangerous, especially when there are so many other ways of transferring money internationally. What you should have done is to check with the company or post office how best to send money, and how to insure the contents of your package in advance
Q I live in a rented flat and pay monthly by direct debit to the council – not Glasgow. Every so often I have to ask them to send me an update on my rent. Do tenants have the right to get sent a statement quarterly, six-monthly or yearly?
A It depends on your tenancy document. Does it specify the landlord's obligation to do this? It certainly would be good business practice to provide a regular statement, but I am not sure why you think it essential. Your bank records are adequate proof of payment, and the lease specifies how much the rent is. If you are questioning common charges, repairs and insurance, you have a right to a statement and breakdown as you are paying for a service provided by the landlord as factor.
Q My aunt died a year ago and named me as beneficiary on her works pension. She was an only child, never married, had no children, and her parents are dead. How long should this take? Should I contact the pension department myself?
A There is nothing to stop you contacting the pension dept. Unless there are complications, this should be settled within a matter of months from the date of your aunt's death.
Austin Lafferty is a solicitor, media lawyer, broadcaster and author. Write to Austin at Evening Times Newsdesk, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Austin also writes a blog and gives legal information on his own firm's website, www.austinlafferty.co.uk