Carphonewarehouse-Breaking the law with impunity

  rickf 08:57 06 Nov 2006

Hi All,
Beware of this company's approach towards the CCA and SOG's Act. I bought a Nokia 6280, not a cheap phone in I think Feb 2005. In April it broke down. Took almost 10days to repair. Broke down again in Oct. 2005 and received message it was ready for collection 7/8 days later. On collection at shop found it had developed another fault.Spent 2 hrs negotiating with them that the phone "was unfit for purpose" as it had broken down twice w/in 8 months and I was entitled to a replacement. To cut a long story, short they flatly refused and stated that their policy was that it had to break down 3 times w/in the Statutory 1 year warranty before they would replace it. I think they are breaching my statutory rights under the Acts above with impunity by overidding them with their company's policy. No matter what I said they would they would not budge. Phone is now under repair again as I had no option and I am waiting to hear.
Any opinions pls?

  Gwyn1 09:53 06 Nov 2006

I may be wrong, but as I understand it they have to replace the phone if faulty when you 'first' take it back (believe this applies to any purchase, subject to confirmation that the goods are faulty). However once you accept a repair they are not legally obliged to replace it. Morally perhaps but not legally. If I purchase something that is faulty I always request my money back and then (if I want to) repurchase the item. That way I am fully covered for the new purchase. I am sure if this information is wrong someone will point it out.

  €dstowe 11:34 06 Nov 2006

Slightly off topic but extending Gwyn1's point, if I buy something that turns out to be faulty, I lose faith in the product anyway such that I don't want to own it. I get a refund and buy something different.

  spuds 11:57 06 Nov 2006

Whatever the company's policy is, this cannot override consumer law, irrespective of what the store or store manager may insist.

The problem in this case, is that acceptance of a repair in the first instant, may have changed your rights slightly. Best to contact click here for a more detailed explanation.

Would mention, that the company mentioned as a problem on at the moment with Ofcom, according to media reports.

  rickf 13:59 06 Nov 2006

Point taken but I did ask for a replacement when it went wrong after about 2 months but they refused point blank. I made the point again the second time but they still refused and it became a stale-mate situation wioth me hanging round the shop negotiating and getting no where. I would like some advice as to how I may proceed to assert my statutory rights. As a working person I do not have the time to have it drag on for months. As a company the have all the time in the world.
Would the OFT take this up on my behalf as this is a matter of public interest and protection?

  Z1100 16:02 06 Nov 2006

The Consumer Law says you can ask for a refund or replacement for faulty goods IF they are not fit for the purpose or do not work/last for 'a reasonable time'.

The problem with the consumer Law there is that it does not stipulate what a reasonable time is and it will be different for each commodity

For example, If you buy a new TV or Washing machine and it is beyond repair within 12 months you may well be able to pursue 'the reasonable time' route. If however this period is say 2 years you would need some fancy legal work to have the manufacturer admit that it is a faulty item and have them replace it.

The best place to start is the (your) local trading standards officer as s/he may have set precedence with a similar case in your county.


  Forum Editor 19:08 06 Nov 2006

As I understand it, you say that the phone 'broke down' in April 2005 and again in October 2005. On both occasions it was repaired by Carphone Warehouse. If those facts are correct the phone seems to have functioned perfectly for a year - until breaking down again in October of this year - is that correct?

Can you give us more information about the nature of the fault - what the phone does or does not do?

It's almost two years old now, and that makes it more difficult (although not impossible) to get a replacement. If you have this phone on a monthly contract are you not due for an upgrade by now in any case?

  rickf 20:38 06 Nov 2006

Hi FE,
Thanks for getting back. I made a mistake with the dates. First time was April 2006 and then recently in Oct.2006. When I went to collect it, it developed another fault on the spot, ie not wanting to register the sim card. Tried simcard on another phone and it was fine. Told them that under the CCA and SOG Act the phone was "unfit for purpose" and that I was entitled to a replacement but they would not budged. They phoned Customer Service at the shop after almost an hour arguing with me and I also spoke to a woman at customer service but she also maintained that I was not entitled to a replacement, only repair. I told her that her co's policy of the 3 times break down before replacement should not override my Statutory Rights to no avail. It was like speaking to a parrot who simply repeated CarphoneWarehouse's terms repeatedly.
The first fault in April when it suddenly failed to read the memory card and I did said it was "unfit for purpose" then but met with the usual response. The second fault was when the display failed to boot up in Oct. just a few weeks ago. I think its outrageous the way they just simply disregarded my Statutory Rights.
I am waiting for it to come back but feel I have been wronged by these people without redress since they simply arrongantly break the law.

  rickf 20:48 06 Nov 2006

Just to clarify. Phone was bought in the beginning of 2006. I made a mistake stating it as 2005. Guess I am functioning a year behind. Happens sometimes when you get older.

  Totally-braindead 22:09 06 Nov 2006

You keep saying they break the law and I'm not sure if that is the case. It is my understanding as Gwyn1 stated earlier on that after accepting the repair the law changes in regards this.
At that time you were quite entitled as far as I believe to demand a replacement rather than a repair and from what you've said they refused to do this which I think may be breaking the law under the sale of goods act but I'm not sure of this.
Now you have accepted the repair then regardless of what happened before you are in a different position.
I'm sure the others who know more about this sort of thing will keep you right.

  Z1100 22:45 06 Nov 2006

This .gov site will give you sound advice and maybe some leverage when you talk to the dealer or the manufacturer.

click here

Also, The Dealer can (and usually will) refuse to help you after 28 Days have passed after the Date of Purchase and insist you deal with the manufacturer. And the dealer will be within HIS right on that one too.

Accepting a repair does NOT affect your statutory right thoug some manufacturers will try and 'bend your arm' to accept repair after repair.

Consumer Law is 'fuzzy' but 10 years managing Call Centres makes you learn fast. That would be why you got a 'parrot' on the help desk.


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