Non PC consumer advice

  Aspman 09:11 23 Feb 2004

Sorry this is a bit OT but I could do with impartial consumer advice before I go shooting my mouth off.

I got a winter car care kit for Xmas. Part of this was a heated ice scraper. I've only ever used it once coz the damn thing left some nasty scratches across 2 of my windows. Not knowing where this had been bought and not having a receipt I put it down to experience and thought I'll have to live with the scratches.

Now yesterday I had a letter forwarded to me from the relative who gave me the gift. It was from Matalan and they were recalling the scraper for the reason that it could cause irreparable damage to your windows.

What I am wondering is am I entitled to get Matalan to replace the damaged glass? All they are offering is a refund for the product.


  Stuartli 14:22 23 Feb 2004

As the warning was issued AFTER you used it, I'm sure that you will have some form of redress even though you haven't already made a complaint for the reasons you mention.

Even if Maplins only pay out for Autoglass to do a resin repair of your windows (I'm assuming that it's not the windscreen, which would be much more serious), at least it would not be as unsightly.

Car windows are not cheap, so you should follow it up as soon as possible - the longer you leave it the more difficult it will be to obtain redress.

Maplins, in any case, or the manufacturer, would be responsible whether you (or other customers who suffer the same way) were aware of the warning before or after the incident; a refund is not acceptable because the product is clearly not fit for its purpose and why the warning was obviously issued.

  Aspman 15:50 23 Feb 2004

Thanks for the replies.

I was in touch over the phone today and Matalan said that each case was being looked at individually and I should send the details on in writing to customer services.

I'll do the above by recorded delivery.

I was lucky I didn't use it on the front windscreen, I have a Focus with a heated front screen. If I'd been impatient that day and used it on the front they are over £300 alone I think.

Its my two passener windows which have been damaged.

Ta muchly.

  Aspman 16:07 23 Feb 2004

I've been in touch with local Trading standards and spoke to a very helpful chap who basically said that because of the nature of the damage and the recall Matalan will be liable for rectifying the damage. I should send the letter to them and see if they are offering to sort everything out (you never know they might be good about it) and if they drag their heels he is happy to chase them up.

  spuds 18:55 23 Feb 2004

Would suggest that you take photographic evidence, or visit someone like Autoglass for quotation for repair/replacement.Actual certified evidence of damage is a great rewarder at later discussion stages.

  Aspman 22:56 23 Feb 2004

Good idea Spuds. I'll get the digi camera out tomorrow. I'll try to take pics and possibly a vid stick it on a disk and include with the letter.

  Aspman 10:49 05 Mar 2004

Matalan have agreed to pay the cost of repair/ replacement of the damaged windows without argument which is a credit to them. they have asked for 2 quotes to be sent to them.

  medicine hat 11:21 05 Mar 2004

Its always interesting to see consumer rights in action. Very pleased for you, Aspman. Unfortunately too few people know or understand their rights.

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