Always read the small print before signing a purchase agreement

QI purchased a leather sofa and took out insurance.

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Three weeks ago I noticed one of the armrests had a bend, I contacted the store and an upholsterer came.

They said I would have to pay for repair as it was through customer misuse.

When I bought it I asked if the warranty included that if it went baggy or mis-shapen we would be covered.

They are now saying that the sofa is only for light use, whatever that is – we're not overweight – and the insurance is now only for the leather.

AYou should always check the wording of any contract before agreeing to sign it, as it is now your word against the salesman if he is still there.

If he won't admit what he said then get an expert upholsterer report through trading standards and claim your money back if it shows the sofa was faulty. And tell the shop you'll never darken their doorstep again.

QMy mum died and made a will appointing an executor who has himself since died. So there is no-one named in the will to sign all the legal papers.

ADon't worry as this is not insurmountable. In the absence of a named executor, any beneficiary of the will can apply to the court for appointment as an executor-dative (as opposed to executor-nominate i.e. specified or nominated in the will), and then carry out the whole winding up of the estate in the normal way.

QI was assaulted in the city centre by a complete stranger one night, and got a chipped bone in my face. I want to seek criminal injuries compensation.

I don't think they caught anyone so can I still claim? And I had been out drinking but was not drunk, will this be held against me?

AIf you did nothing to provoke the attack and co-operated fully with police you should not be adversely affected.

The police will provide a report to the Compensation Authority narrating the circumstances. No conviction is needed for compensation to be awarded.

QI work in a large mall and my employers extended our shifts by an hour. We now have to work to midnight which makes it is difficult for staff to get home, resulting in staff being forced to walk home. Is this legal?

ACheck your contract to see if it gives the employer the right to change hours.

Even if it does, there are some workers – especially parents of young children – who have the right to apply for flexible working.

If the changes are unreasonable for your domestic needs you may be able to get them changed under the Working Time Regulations. If there is no transport to the workplace at midnight, your employer is putting your safety at risk and some provision should be made by him for you and others.

I suggest you get together and have a meeting with the boss.

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