Pixmania and faulty goods

  -NickH- 00:22 25 Oct 2005

I bought a graphics card from pixmania.co.uk earlier this year which has subsequently gone wrong.

I remember at the time of buying that they offered me a ZEN engagement which as far as I could tell meant that they would replace or exchange the product if anything went wrong with the product in the first year.

I declined, as I to my knowledge, the sale of goods act covers exactly this, and that it is not be necessary for me to pay an extra 6% for a statutory right.

When I contacted Pixmania, and they now tell me that as I did not take out the ZEN engagement, I am only covered by their 7 day warranty, after which it is the responsibility of the manufacturer to replace the product.

I have not heard from the manufacturer yet, but I just wanted to run it past this board in case this all comes back to bite me...

If the company is in France but the goods were ordered from a UK website, does the sale of goods act cover me?

Does the EU have similar protection?

There is very little on their site to suggest that they are not a UK company; they have .co.uk address, they use a UK 0870 telephone number, their prices are in sterling and they have a London collection address..

At the moment all of this is hypothetical, as I have every confidence that either Pixmania or the manufacturer will resolve this issue amicably, but I would like to know if I have a leg to stand on if it does all go sour, or if anyone else has a problem with another international company...



  anchor 10:12 25 Oct 2005

This is the problem dealing with a supplier not based in the UK.

Sales from Pixmania are governed by French Law. Even if French Law provides the same protection as English Law, it would necessitate you bringing the action in a French Court. This is not a route one would be likely to go down for a graphic card.

On the Pixmania site they state: "During the first year of warranty, if you experience any problems with the product you contact the manufacturer's after-sales service".

Good luck.

  spuds 10:27 25 Oct 2005

This is a subject which needs further investigation and legal clarification due to the complexity of EU rules and regulations.It is still a very grey area, as most other EU countries seem to have very different consumer laws to those of the UK. When the UK joined the EU, everyone was told that all the countries involved would be as one, this doe's not seem to have happened.

Best bet is to contact the people who should perhaps have the answer, or means of finding the answer. ConsumerDirect click here

  -NickH- 21:04 25 Oct 2005

Thanks for your responses. I will look at the ConsumerDirect site in a minute..

To follow up, I have just had an email from the manufacturer to say that their warranty conditions state that the supplier is responsible for the first year, and that I should point that out to Pixmania.

The funny thing is that the manufacturer is also in France...

I am hoping that if the manufacturer states this in their terms and conditions, then Pixmania should adhere to their suppliers' conditions, regardless of where they are based.

The manufacturer has put me in touch with one of their UK agents who I hope will take this up with Pixmania direct...

I will be back when and if it reaches a conclusion...


  Stuartli 21:19 25 Oct 2005

I had the same problem with another French company, Nomatica, about two years ago.

In the end it was resolved through my credit card company, Visa (LloydsTSB Trustcard division), who refunded a sum of nearly £800 plus the £50+ it cost to send the goods back to the south of France.

Yet I've bought goods from the States on numerous occasions and had no problems.

  anchor 09:49 26 Oct 2005

I sympathise with your predicament -NickH-, but your experience, together with that of Stuartli, strengthens my resolve to buy only from UK companies. That way you get the protection of UK consumer law if things go wrong.

It seems you are being bounced around; Pixmania say you should deal with the manufacturer, who in turn say you should deal with Pixmania.

Hopefully it will get sorted out quickly via the UK agent.

  -NickH- 12:08 26 Oct 2005

I completely agree with you. In fact, I have never, and never intend to order from non-UK sippliers.

When I ordered the product, I had no idea that the company was not in the UK.

Pixmania, and probably other retailers have gone to great lengths to disguise thier true origins.

As I said, their pickup location is in London, they use a UK telephone number, their prices are in sterling, so 99% of people would order from them thinking they are in fact in the UK.

I am sure that there is very little, if anything that can be done about it, but the fact is that you would have to read the website cover to cover before realising that they are based in France.

I always check that my suppliers have got a UK support line, have a UK postal address, and if humanly possible, only every pay in sterling. Pixmania passed all of these criteria..

I suppose the bottom line is, even when a site looks like it's in the UK, go that extra mile to make sure...

  spuds 12:41 26 Oct 2005

NickH-- I know this is no direct answer to your original question, but consider how many call centres are based overseas nowadays.It as now got to a certain stage, whether by internet or telephone, that nobody knows who they are actually speaking to, or perhaps dealing with!.

I deal on a regular basis with companies in America,Hong Kong and Germany. At first I was very timid about conducting my business in far away places. Perhaps I have been lucky, but all my dealings so far have turned out 100%.And deliveries from these countries have in most cases exceeded those of UK supply. Something that by modern standards in the UK cannot always be guaranteed with a 100% sureness.

  Stuartli 12:52 26 Oct 2005

The problem isn't normally with the actual deliveries (just as with UK companies) but returns.

  puma22 22:49 26 Oct 2005

Just to add to this, I bought a video camera from pixmania. When it was delivered it did not have an English language version of the istruction book, but every other European languae book had been included (very useful).
The plug was a European one. I dint have any problems with the retunr other than it cost me a lot of money. I had to pay recorded delivery back to France and they didnt refund the original delivery charge. If i remember rightly, it was over 30 quid. only deal with UK based companies now.

  fitcher 13:34 28 Oct 2005

I too, thought I was buying from an english company untill my camera came from france. and was in french ..

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