Shooter power: vote with your feet

Q A couple of weeks ago, I went to a new local shoot I’d seen advertised and paid to shoot a 50-bird Sporting. I have to say the targets were awful. The traps malfunctioned almost continually. It seemed like nearly every other clay came out either broken or on totally erratic trajectories. In the end, I lost count of the number of ‘no birds’ I’d received. I got so fed up with the breaks in concentration that I packed my gun away and didn’t even bother with the last couple of stands. 

When I complained, the refs were very dismissive. I asked for my money back and they basically told me to get lost. Do I have any legal rights in this?
Jude Holmes, Lincolnshire

A Even the most reputable shooting ground will occasionally have its ‘off day’ with a troublesome trap or a bad batch of clays, and in such instances a polite expression of dissatisfaction from the affected shooters will result in some sort of amicable remedy being offered and agreed.

However, it seems the frustration you have experienced goes beyond that and shows an overall lack of care and attention across the board. As a consumer, you do, of course, have the right to expect that what you are buying will be fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. Having said that, in practical terms, the financial loss is usually hardly significant enough to warrant a formal legal remedy. More often than not, shooters vote with their feet and I expect that if the same views and experiences were shared by your fellow shooters, the attendance at the ground in question will dwindle rapidly. Stuart Farr

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Posted in Ask the Experts, Coaching

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