I am essentially being refused a refund?!

  Why wont it work 14:16 08 Aug 2006

I bought a motherboard from a certain company only 4 weeks ago. It was broken from the start, with several features not working and the back plate was missing. I left a 'webnote' that was completely ignored. (Of course the have no record of it) Thus I tried to ring them, no luck. When they did answer, the phone was immediately put down on me.

Right I thought! I needed a replacement quickly, so I travelled the 100 miles up the motorway to go there myself. I informed them of the missing part, thinking I could get a refund based upon the fact a bit was missing. They told me that they didn't believe me and they couldn't 'just take my word for it'. I then informed them it was broken, and I had travelled a long way, and would like it sorted (I needed a pc urgently). They refused to take it in, as I had not followed the correct online RMA proceedure! (I had tried that!) They said I would have to post it and they would refund the postage! Even though I was there in person with the item. They told me that I should buy another as a replacement, and they would refund the original.

So I went home and ordered a new one (from another company, one I knew I could trust), and I sent back the other motherboard via the 'correct' RMA proceedure. I was told I would get a replacement. I did not respond as they had not responded via this process in the first place, instead I included a hand written note with the item, explaining the situation, that I wanted a refund for the item, and the postage (a costly £18.50, as they insisted it was recorded and insured). Sadly I did not keep a copy of the note.

On Saturday I received an email stating that the motherboard was neing sent back to me. (They did not even care to say if it was the original or a replacement). I eventually discovered it was a replacement, even though I had clearly stated I did not want one, in the note included with the item. I have sent several emails to them, and each time they have responded 'Sir, our records clearly stated that you requested a replacement' - which I did not, they just assumed I did.

A replacement turned up today, along with an email stating that I should have taken action when they sent an email saying that replacement would be given if the item was found faulty, which I did in the form of the note. As such I am left with 2 motherboards. They are essentially refusing a refund, by claiming I 'specifically asked for a replacement'. They are not willing to refund the hefty P&P either, despite saying they would.

I am sorry if this sounds like a rant, it probably is, but I am infuriated by my treatment. I would go to trading standards, but it's quite a distance for me, and I do not have the means of getting there any time soon. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  Jak_1 14:21 08 Aug 2006

Unfortnately, they have done what the law requires and that is to replace a faulty item. That however does not excuse their treatment of you as a valued customer. They should make their staff courses on customer care and courtesy.

  johnnyrocker 14:24 08 Aug 2006

write it off and sell one of the boards on e bay might be best or e buyer as i dont fell you have enough to proceed further, (records are everything)


  Stuartli 14:24 08 Aug 2006

If the product is not of merchantable quality you are entiled to your money back plus expenses.

However, a 200 mile round trip seems somewhat over the top.

It pays to keep records...:-)

  Why wont it work 14:25 08 Aug 2006

That is what I would like to know. Can they legallu force you take a replacement, even though they have said they could give a refund?

  Stuartli 14:28 08 Aug 2006

Part of the Act:

Part 5a

48A Introductory

(1) This section applies if—
(a) the buyer deals as consumer or, in Scotland, there is a consumer contract in which the buyer is a consumer, and
(b) the goods do not conform to the contract of sale at the time of delivery.

(2) If this section applies, the buyer has the right—
(a) under and in accordance with section 48B below, to require the seller to repair or replace the goods, or
(b) under and in accordance with section 48C below—
(i) to require the seller to reduce the purchase price of the goods to the buyer by an appropriate amount, or
(ii) to rescind the contract with regard to the goods in question.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above goods which do not conform to the contract of sale at any time within the period of six months starting with the date on which the goods were delivered to the buyer must be taken not to have so conformed at that date.

  Why wont it work 14:35 08 Aug 2006

So that sounds as though they have managed to stitch me up good. They said they would give a refund, but probably had no intention to, since they are fulfilling their obligation.

At the least however, surely I can claim the hefty postage costs?

  Stuartli 14:37 08 Aug 2006

..(ii) to rescind the contract with regard to the goods in question.

  Pamy 14:40 08 Aug 2006

you do seem to have gone about this the wrong way. Not sure wether you wanted a replacement "RightI thought! I needed a replacement quickly, so I travelled the 100 miles up the motorway to go there myself". Then you told them that a bit was missing thinking they would give you a refund. What if they had given you the missing bit? The guys that recieve your returns do not bother with your notes inside, the company has a returns procedure. "I did not respond as they had not responded via this process in the first place"

  ade.h 14:43 08 Aug 2006

It is quite clear from Stuartli's quote that you are entitled to a refund. It is a fundamental tenet of the SGA if the goods are not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. If either of these circumstances are met, you have the right to request a refund and the seller must oblige you.

Your slightly slack approach has not helped your case, but it does not undermine your rights, for which you should continue to push.

You do not have to visit a Trading Standards office; on the contrary, they would expect you to phone or write to them.

  Why wont it work 14:59 08 Aug 2006

Ah, yes sorry, I misread the bit about cancelling the contract, I did not interpret that as meaning refund.

I physically went to the shop, because I could not contact them by phone or email after a day of trying. I do not see why they could not have taken the item there and then, since their shop is also their warehouse and online department. Had it just been a missing part that was the problem, sure I would have accepted a replacement part, as it was they claimed they could not take my word for it, which I think is a disgusting thing to say to a customer.

I don't think there is much point in visiting trading standards now. I guess they prefer you to talk to them over the phone now, like with the tax office. Having worked for various government departments now, I always find that visiting them gets the best result.

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