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B.C. woman who sought $1,500 for 'designer' purse loses in small claims court

"The applicant now has an improved purse and has suffered no loss," said B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal.
The Civil Resolution Tribunal was not presented with any evidence showcasing the purse's authenticity or value.

B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has dismissed a woman’s claim for $1,500 from another woman she said didn’t repair her designer purse properly.

In a Dec. 13 decision, tribunal member Chad McCarthy said Sydney Desiree Carrol took her purse to Winnie Wu, for repairs. Carrol claimed Wu did not repair the purse in the agreed way, that the repairs were of poor quality and that the purse had been further damaged.

Carrol claimed the hand bag was beyond repair and wanted $1,500 for the cost of a second-hand replacement purse.

Wu, however, said she repaired the purse as agreed, and told Carrol the purse would not return to like-new condition. Wu said she owes Carrol nothing, according to the ruling.

McCarthy said the bag bears a designer label and was torn where the handles attach to the bag. He said Carrol unsuccessfully attempted to repair the damage with super glue before taking it to Wu.

“She (Wu) recommended re-stitching the purse at the handle attachment points, rather than patching the purse,” McCarthy said, noting Carrol agreed patches would not match the purse colour.

Carrol admitted Wu told her the repair would “look bad” and that the stitching would be visible. She further admitted that she didn’t care about visible stitching and just wanted the handles back on, according to the ruling.

“I find the parties did not agree to a full restoration of the purse, and the respondent was not required to make the purse look like new or to hide any repairs,” McCarthy said. “I find the parties agreed visible stitching that might 'look bad' would be an acceptable repair.”

The tribunal said before and after photos showed the repairs were consistent with the parties’ agreement for a functional repair that did not necessarily look perfect.

“The applicant now has an improved purse and has suffered no loss,” McCarthy said in dismissing the case.

He concluded, “even if I had found that (Wu’s) repairs were substandard or were not as agreed, (Carrol) submitted no documentary evidence proving the designer brand name purse’s authenticity or value, despite saying that she had evidence of both. So, I find her claimed damages are unproven in any event.”

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