On an unrelated matter*, does anyone know anything about consumer law? I have a problem regarding a TV I purchased in the sales just after Christmas. At the end of January it developed a fault, so I took it back to Currys who said that they couldn’t replace it because it was just outside their 28 day guarantee. Instead they would arrange for an engineer to come and fix it at my home. Fair enough, I thought. Anyway, three weeks later I got a call to say that they were having problems getting the spare parts for it (even though it’s a brand new model) so were willing to collect the TV and offer me a credit note to return to Currys and get a replacement. Again, fair enough on the face of it but the problem is that they are only willing to credit me the amount I paid for the TV (£550) which was a limited time special offer. The same TV has now gone back up to £995 so if I wanted a straight replacement I would have to fork out the difference. That just seems wrong to me. I haven’t yet negotiated with them but it would be nice to know where I stand legally before I do. Surely I’m entitled to a new TV at no extra cost?

*Well it could be related if it costs me an arm and a leg.


7 thoughts on “150

  1. The problems you’ve had with the TV come under the Sale of Goods Act (Google it, you should find a link to a factsheet from the Dept. for Business).

    The particular parts of the act that are relevant to you are the fact that the first entitlement you have is to repair or replacement (if this isn’t possible, they’re entitled to give you a refund instead, but they have to prove that replacement isn’t possible – just because the price has reverted to pre-sale price isn’t enough to prove this). Secondly, if the goods break down in the first six months, the onus is on the seller (rather than the purchaser) to prove they weren’t inherently faulty – it sounds like they’ve accepted blame in this case anyway, but it still gives you a stronger position to argue from.

    You’ll also note from various aspects of the act that their 28 day guarantee period is irrelevant under law – you still have a statutory right to repair or replacement, they must either prove this is impossible or, since it’s within the first six months, that the goods were not inherently faulty (i.e., that you broke it). You don’t have to accept a credit note either, though since a change in price is the problem here, I don’t suppose a cash refund would help much either – read the guidance on the act if you can find it, you’ve got a very good argument for a replacement, regardless of cost.

  2. You need to look up the Sale and Supply of Goods Act. Since it’s within 6 months the onus is on the retailer to demonstrate that the TV wasn’t inherently faulty. That’s good. Now, refunds are available if repair is too costly or not possible. Not so good, because there’s no way you’re going to get more back than you paid regardless of price increases. Two possible options: argue that you’d like an equivalent specification TV instead (they probably won’t go for that) or ask them to produce evidence that the repair isn’t possible; information from manufacturer, etc. If they won’t then ask for contact info so you can source the replacement parts yourself and point out that you will bill time and materials to the retailer at the end once they’ve then repaired your TV if you discover it’s possible. See if they’ll go for that instead.

  3. I suspect as the recession deepens many more people will make spurious claims in order to suppliment their income. I would guess that there have been REAL claims as fraudulently silly as this!
    When I first saw the photoshop picture (before reading the letter) I thought, “He’s (Graham) not done a very good job of that!” sorry I should have known better!

  4. Another great post Graham!

    “Izzy Hopping” !

    Re the TV, can I suggest you carefully read the above posts. I have already cut & pasted them into a legal scrap-book I’m currently compiling.

  5. Ariane – yes, I reckon that their employees would have some tales to tell.

    Matt & Mark – thank you both for your advice, it’s much appreciated. I also phoned Consumer Direct this afternoon who basically backed up what you said. Be warned, Currys, I now know my rights…

    Mike – it took me three or four attempts to make the Photoshopping that bad. I had to overcome my instinct of doing a decent job!

    Richard, that sounds like an interesting project. How many laws have you scrapped so far?

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