Claim No. SCT 036/2014
THE DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL CENTRE COURTS
In the name of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai
IN THE SMALL CLAIMS TRIBUNAL OF DIFC COURTS
BEFORE H.E. JUSTICE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
Hearing: 10 June 2014
Parties: Claimant is represented by Eadric
Defendant is represented by Ebenezer
Judgment: 22 June 2014
JUDGMENT OF H.E. JUSTICE SHAMLAN AL SAWALEHI
1. The Claimant is Effie The Defendant is Efron, a company that sells natural human hair extensions with a flagship branch located in the USA that is registered in the DIFC. The Defendant is represented by its Managing Partner, Ebenezer.
2. On 1 May 2014, the Claimant e-mailed the Defendant Ebenezer inquiring about a full lace wig, complete with price details and an invoice. The Defendant Ebenezer replied back less than two hours later with complete details including the different styles offered. The information provided clearly stated that the products sold were made of 100% authentic virgin Brazilian hair.
3. On the same day, the Claimant’s custom-made wig requirements were taken including colour, length, texture and size measurements. A non-refundable deposit of AED 1,250 was received by the Defendant from the Claimant for the custom-made wig.
4. The wig was set to arrive on 8 May 2014 from China. Both parties met the same day at the Claimant’s home and after inspection of the product, the Claimant requested installation of the wig which was custom cut and installed to fit the Claimant’s hairline. Additionally, the Claimant paid the remaining amount of AED 1,250 upon delivery of the wig making a total of AED 2,500.
5. Subsequently, two days later on 10 May 2014, the Claimant called the Defendant and stated in an e-mail that she had chemically altered the wig with dye and that the hair was now damaged. The Defendant replied that it was not responsible for colouring not performed by xxxx and that the Claimant was not entitled to any refund or exchange.
6. The Claimant responded with claims that the wig was not made of 100% real human hair as originally advertised and demanded a full refund. The two parties agreed to meet to attempt to come to a resolution but no solution was reached.
7. On 15 May 2014, the Claimant filed a claim in the Small Claims Tribunal seeking the full amount of the wig, USD 680.00 in addition to USD 100.00 in court fees making a total of USD 780.00.
8. On 8 June 2014, the Claimant filed a report from a Testing Laboratory alleging a tested sample of hair was not 100% human hair.
9. On 28 May 2014, a consultation was attended by both parties before Judicial Officer Nassir Al Nasser. The claim was not settled and therefore a hearing was ordered for 10 June 2014 before H.E. Justice Shamlan Al Sawalehi.
10. The Defendant appeared in person at the hearing while the Claimant participated via telephone.
11. During the hearing, the Claimant asserted that the wig Effie had received was not made of 100% human hair as she had requested and paid for, but synthetic hair. She also submitted a laboratory report dated 8 June 2014 from Testing Laboratory LLC that states that “the tested sample is not 100% natural hair”.
12. During the hearing the Defendant asserted that the origin of the hair was Brazilian and was indeed natural human hair, but no evidence was submitted in support of the same. The Defendant also stressed the fact that being a hygienic custom-made product, a refund was not possible after use and damage following the application of chemicals to the hair and that she had warned the Claimant of the same on several occasions. Furthermore, she presented the argument that payment had been made in two parts, the first upon observation of a sample at their first meeting, and the second prior to installation at the Claimant’s house and that the Claimant had reasonable opportunity to reject the product had she not been satisfied with its quality.
13. The Claimant was unable to produce convincing evidence showing any documentation or paper trail that the wig sold to her was in fact the wig tested at the testing laboratory. Therefore, the Court rejects this evidence on the basis that there is no way to prove that the sample provided by the Claimant to the laboratory is a sample taken from the product sold to her by the Defendant due to lack of any method of identification and lack of proof of the same on the part of the Claimant.
14. It has been confirmed by both the Claimant and the Defendant that the product was examined on two occasions before each part of the payment was made. On both occasions, the Claimant accepted the product and did not dispute its quality. Thus the contract between the two was willingly entered into, with respect to the examined product at the time.
15. Having rejected the laboratory report as evidence, and the Claimant having stated at the hearing that identification of the material of the wig was not possible by the naked eye, in addition to lack of proof substantiating the Claimant’s allegations, the Court lacks evidence as to the disputed the origin of the hair forming the wig.
16. For the reasons mentioned above, the Court finds that this case should be dismissed.
Nassir Al Nasser
Date: 22 June 2014