Carphone Warehouse refusing a refund

  Monoux 21:00 21 Jul 2008

A true story

Bought a mobile phone from Carphone Warehouse on 30 May 2008. It started dropping the signal and switching itself off randomly on 2 July 2008 Took back for exchange / refund on 3 July which was refused as it was out of their own 28 day limit. Would only offer a repair. Despite mny protestations thats all they would offer
Phone was ready to collect on 16 July.
On using it the same faults were present even though they say a new antena had been fitted.
Went back today and have again been refused a refund despite citing the Sale of Goods act, not fit for purpose and under 6 months old so fault deemed to have been present at purchase. Despite long attempts to get them to refund including them calling their head office no success. Will only offer an exchange or repair.

I have now lost all confidence in them and the phone so want my money back.

It seems however that I'm going to have to go to the small claims court to get it.

  FatboySlim71 22:45 21 Jul 2008

It could be that the phone you have is a Friday afternoon special, if it has been repaired and is still suffering the same problem, then why don't you take the offer of an exchange for the same model of phone, if the exchanged phone has the same problem you would have a much better case to go back to Carphone Warehouse and or further and saying "Look this is the second phone with the same problem, surely this must mean that these batch of phones suffer this fault".

  Pamy 22:48 21 Jul 2008
  GRIDD 00:31 22 Jul 2008

I have sworn an oath never to buy again from them.

I and my wife bought a phone each. Same model...

Hers developed a fault and they, like you experience, point blank refused an exchange or refund only repair. It got sent to the repair place and they sent it to the manufacturer.... both me and the wife kept calling in to ask about it. With no luck on getting it back and a month passing from initially handing it in my own handset developed the same fault and I sent that in also.

Another month lapses and I go in asking about both handsets. The customer assistant informs me the wife's has come back but mine hasn't. I say OK great I'll sign for my wife's....

Response was "No sir, she'll have to sign for it, data protection" I said it's inconvenient for her to come over, I'm here, I have proof of my name and address, I know the phone's here, you know who I am, I'll even ring her now!"

Next response was "Sir I'm not letting you take the phone and I'm not talking to your wife on the phone". Result was the wife had to travel 6 miles with our 3 children in tow to collect it.

2 weeks later my own came back with a crack on the hinge. They furiously denied they could have done it. Strangely though the crack is where they would have had to open the phone for the repair to the speaker....

Their policy is that they send it off and if their engineer decides they didn't do it I'm liable for a £45 fee or they dispose of the phone. Yeah right the phones only cost £70 each. Both phones are now working and I've squirted a tiny bit of glue into mine where the crack is. When they fail, they fail I ain't going back there!

Sorry for the lengthy post but....

  tillybaby 07:36 22 Jul 2008

It's lengthy posts like the one you have done that makes my decision so much easier NEVER to visit these places that care not one hoot about customer service once they've got your money and for that I thank you.

  Monoux 07:56 22 Jul 2008

Pamy --
thanks for the link but I even went to the local library and printed out the relevant sections from the sale of goods act and showed them at the shop -- they still refused a refund and threatened to call the Police if I didn't leave. I think that may have been because other customers were walking out.

They have aleady had a go at repairing a phone not 6 weeks old without success. Others I have spoken to that have the same phone have all had problems with it. So basically I do not want another phone the same and they will not swap it for a other type either just a direct replacement which was not in stock at that branch anyway.

As far as I can see the sale of goods act requires them in the circumstances I have outlined to refund my money.

I intend to Email head office today and ask why they are refusing to refund. If no luck then it's off to the Small Claims Court

  spuds 09:13 22 Jul 2008

Have you done an internet search, to see if your particular model as any reported complaints and problems. If you can find any information, then this may help your case.

The main problem with consumer law, is what the laymen and the retailer 'might think', is not necessarily correct. Contact either your local trading standards, consumer advice centre or Consumer Direct for assistance. Your local trading standards or advice centre, might even contact Carphone Warehouse on your behalf, if the law is in your favour. More so, if they have had many complaints.

Regarding Data protection. Because it concerned a 'named individual' ( and thats the important part), then Carphone Warehouse was correct. But of course this doesn't stop them from using perhaps common sense on a matter like this. But having stated that, sometimes partners prefer to deal with their own matters, and Carphone Warehouse might possibly be liable, very unlikely though, as each case is dealt with on its own merit by Data protection people.

  Monoux 09:22 22 Jul 2008

Update -- Just spoken to customer services who say company rules say they can only exchange the phone for another the same.
Tried to get put through to their legal dept but been told they only interact with customers by letter.

I'm beginning to see a pattern here which GRIDDS post seems to confirm -- take your money and refuse you a right of reddress for faulty goods.

Once this is resolved I to will never buy from them again.

  spuds 09:45 22 Jul 2008

Company rules cannot override consumer law. What happens if the model is no longer available. Is it as case of equivalent or better than ( as the law might state), or a pro-rata refund?.

  rickf 09:49 22 Jul 2008

Hi Monoux,
Same experience here almost 2 yrs ago. Different phone but exactly same probs. I vowed the not to buy from Carphone and my friends. These people will walked over your statutory rights when ever they can. Good luck with your negotiations. They wore me out in the end after toing and froing for 6 months. No more I say.

  rickf 12:23 22 Jul 2008

Sorry several typos above but I think you'll understand what I mean.

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