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Thread: Legal rights when buying

  1. #1
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default Legal rights when buying

    Hello sportsfans.

    I haven't been around for a while, but I really could do with some help.


    For last Christmas we bought our daughter a laptop from Currys online.

    Within 2 weeks a couple of keys had fallen off. Then the screen started majorly flickering, USB randomly doesn't recognise devices (which it did 20 seconds before, etc) random typing on screen, caps lock or num lock random activation, earphone socket fallen apart internally. and a few beeps and noises and other random faults.

    Anyway, a couple of months ago we emailed Currys to say it wasn't fit for purpose and not of merchantable quality.

    They have responded that they will only consider a repair (or replace if uneconomical - at their opinion). We won't accept a repair, as it clearly isn't up to the job, has numerous faults and we have no confidence in either the machine or Currys, now.

    After 2 months and a few emails to and fro, and now we have been forced to pursue it throught the courts (MCOL).

    They have now responded to the courts papers that they will defend the claim.

    My question is, if it actually gets to court, what are my chances?


    This is basically what I have been using to form the opinion that I do have grounds for a full refund.

    "Sale of Goods legislation
    Introduction
    UK law on sale of goods is set out principally in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended in 1994). The Act was recently amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, to provide consumers with additional remedies. This Guide briefly explains the operation of the law.
    The Sale of Goods Act applies to all buyers but consumers are entitled to a greater range of remedies. “Consumers” are defined as people who are buying for purposes not related to their trade, business or profession. The Act does not apply to services in general.
    When goods are faulty, buyers can generally only obtain a legal remedy against the retailer. Buyers are not usually able to claim directly against the manufacturer. Consumers may have additional rights under any guarantee supplied with the goods or against a credit card company or finance house if the goods are purchased by means of credit and have a price of over £100.
    A Simple Summary (see flow chart on page 4)
    Buyers are entitled to goods of satisfactory quality, taking account of any description, the price and other relevant circumstances. If an item has a fault that is present at the time of sale (which may be a “latent” or “inherent” fault), the consumer can complain once it is discovered.
    Buyers cannot expect a legal remedy in respect of:
    • fair wear and tear;
    • misuse or accidental damage; or
    • if they decide they no longer want the item.
    Similarly, buyers cannot expect a legal remedy where goods have faults that they knew about before the sale or that should have been evident on reasonable inspection.
    Remedies
    If a product that was faulty at the time of sale is returned to the retailer, the buyer is legally entitled to:
    1
    • a full refund, if this is within a reasonable time of the sale (“reasonable time” is not defined in law but is often quite short); or
    • a reasonable amount of compensation (or “damages”) for up to six years from the date of sale (five years after discovery of the problem in Scotland).
    This does not mean all goods have to last six years! It is the limit for making a claim in respect of a fault that was present at the time of sale. It is not equivalent to a guarantee. These rights are long-established rights.
    Alternatively, consumers (see definition in introduction above) can choose to request instead:
    • a repair or replacement.
    The retailer can decline either of these if he can show that they are disproportionately costly in comparison with the alternative. However, any remedy must also be completed without significant inconvenience to the consumer. If neither repair nor replacement is realistically possible, consumers can request instead:
    • a partial or full refund, depending on what is reasonable in the circumstances.
    It may be the case that a full refund is not the reasonable option because the consumer will have enjoyed some benefit from the goods before the problem appeared. This needs to be taken into account before a reasonable partial refund can be assessed.
    As illustrated in the flow chart on page 4, consumers can switch between certain remedies if they find they are getting nowhere down the route originally selected. However, they would have to give a retailer a reasonable time to honour a request before they tried to switch, and they could never pursue two remedies at the same time.
    Proving the fault
    Generally, the consumer needs to demonstrate the goods were faulty at the time of
    sale. This is so if the consumer chooses to request an immediate refund or compensation (damages). It is also the case for any product returned more than six months after the date of the sale.
    There is one exception. This is when a consumer returns goods in the first six months from the date of the sale, and requests a repair or replacement or, thereafter, a partial or full refund. In that case, the consumer does not have
    2
    to prove the goods were faulty at the time of the sale. It is assumed that they were. If the retailer does not agree, it is for him to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale.
    Other situations covered
    The remedies of repair, replacement, partial refund and full refund are also available to consumers:
    • where installation by the retailer is not satisfactory;
    • where installation instructions have serious shortcomings;
    • generally where a good does not match the public statements made about it by the retailer, manufacturer, importer or producer; and
    • where a specially commissioned product has relevant failings.
    These are greatly simplified explanations and they are expanded on in the separate Guidance Note entitled “A Trader’s Guide”.
    Alternative dispute resolution
    Although consumers do sometimes take court action, in day-to-day practice this is a rare event. In the vast majority of cases, the consumer and retailer are able to reach a satisfactory solution without any need to consider going to court. Where this is not possible, use of an alternative dispute resolution procedure or trade association scheme can be considered. Details may be sought from the retailer, the Community Legal Service or a Citizens Advice Bureau."




    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Regular Member n_hudson's Avatar
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    I thought that you have to allow the company 3 attempts to repair the laptop before a refund or replacement is offered?

    Also, reading the above, it says "The item was faulty when sold" but yours "became faulty" after 2 weeks. So on sale day it was in full working order. So I'm quite sure you have to allow them to attempt to repair the laptop before demanding a refund.
    Last edited by n_hudson; 18th June 2010 at 09:26.

  3. #3
    Regular Member vectragsi3.2's Avatar
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    not sure about court procedings but i had a laptop from currys that wasnt working and i knew couldnt be repaired but they still had to send it off which i wasnt happy about then a couple of days rang me to tell me to come and pick a new one!! have you sent it off or are you just refusing to? if you are refusing to send it off i reckon you dont have much chance in court as currys have offered a way to sort it out

  4. #4
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    I haven't sent it off, but the SofG act clearly says that

    "If a product that was faulty at the time of sale is returned to the retailer, the buyer is legally entitled to:
    1
    a full refund, if this is within a reasonable time of the sale (“reasonable time” is not defined in law but is often quite short); or
    • a reasonable amount of compensation (or “damages”) for up to six years from the date of sale (five years after discovery of the problem in Scotland).

    • a repair or replacement.

    • a partial or full refund, depending on what is reasonable in the circumstances."

    I read this as I choose which option I prefer (with reasons if necessary), not Currys.

    So I think I am compliant within my statatory rights to ask for a full refund, as it was highlighted within a 'reasonable' amount of time given the nature of the product.

  5. #5
    Ex Vec-C Admin Deztroyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n_hudson View Post
    I thought that you have to allow the company 3 attempts to repair the laptop before a refund or replacement is offered?

    Also, reading the above, it says "The item was faulty when sold" but yours "became faulty" after 2 weeks. So on sale day it was in full working order. So I'm quite sure you have to allow them to attempt to repair the laptop before demanding a refund.

    Nick, if you accept a repair then your accepting a change in the terms and conditions of the agreement - therefore you would have little redress later other than to accept another repair ....then after 3 attempts to fix an issue you would have to try the above ..

    if the item is under 28 days old then i would have requested a replacement ...



    Ste, when was your first contact with Currys ?? you say that after a couple of weeks the issues started to arise.... but then say a couple of months ago you emailed ?? which would make the item nearly 4 months old before you made contact???

    and can you tell us the make and model - might be able to Dig some dirt on it?

    regards

    Dez

    0-Large smile ......every time it's driven

  6. #6
    Regular Member n_hudson's Avatar
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    I think because you have refused the repair I think thats why they have refused the refund. How long after the you bought the item did you try and return it?

    I'm sure the seller must have rights too, maybe you should look up what they're legally entitled to do etc also.

  7. #7
    Regular Member Ste's Avatar
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    Default

    The first contact with Currys customer services was about 3 1/2 months after initial purchase, by this time numerous faults were evident, which were relayed to Currys. The first problems started within 2 weeks, but we thought it may not be Currys fault ! with the keys. However, more keys have subsequently fallen off, so clearly there is an issue here.

    My perference is a refund and then replacement of defective items purchased. A repair IMO isn't the best way to proceed.


    The machine is EI systems Sorrento 1 - bought for my daughter to do homework etc on. I know it isn't the most powerful or best machine on the market, but was suitable for the intended use (or so we thought).


    I thought the Sales of Goods Act was a definition of my legal rights. Are there other laws that I should be aware of?

  8. #8
    Ex Vec-C Admin Deztroyer's Avatar
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    Ste,

    had a quick look see on the www no real reported issues with the machine that i can see on build or running faults...

    TBH if it had been me... I would have returned the machine when the keys started falling off at week 2 ...and demanded a refund and purchased something else, most shops are happy to exhange items within a couple of weeks providing that you have all the boxes manuals etc and that it didnt look like its been used as a frisbee...

    after a month then the shop would be within its rights to say they wanted to repair - but if pushed then they would have probably exhanged for another or upgraded (with extra money) to domething better.

    nearly a quarter of a year into the warranty then yes - they were probably right to state that they wanted to repair it....

    the sale of goods act is a great piece of legislation - but the doors swing both ways ...you have not given them the option to inspect or repair the item after a reasonable period of time

    it will be your responsibility to PROVE that the faults were inherent at the time of manufacturer /sale ... how do you intend to do this?

    i feel accepting a repair would have been the best option ...then if it went wrong again ....well you would be in a better postion to fight your case later down the line

    0-Large smile ......every time it's driven

  9. #9
    Regular Member bunsen1's Avatar
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    3 1/2 months is too long, 28 days to get a full replacement and after the 28days its for them to repair, as soon as keys started coming off you should of contacted them as they should not have been, you may well have shot ya self in the foot as its got warranty for a 1yr as standard which entitles you to free of charge repairs unless found faulty within the initial 28days
    really you should of sent of repair and you would have benn able to list all problems for there attention and had them fixed, they would of probably upon inspecting and confirming all the problems offered you a replacement if not fixed
    i dont think you have much chance as they have offered to take it back to inspect, they will not just give you a new one after that long as anything may have caused the problems and they would need to inspect it to make a desicion,

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