Terms & Conditions - Legal or Not

  DrATty 13:30 27 Apr 2010

I was about to spend over £250 at a well-known online retailer when I read the following in the terms and conditions:

'5.1 Any faults that occur within the first 10 days after the goods arrive must be reported to ##### within a reasonable time frame, to be eligible for refund or a replacement (click here to find out how to report faults and return goods). If your goods develop a fault after the first 10 days following recipt you have a right to return the goods to us so that we can send them off to be repaired under warranty on your behalf, however you should note that this will result in a significant delay in the goods being returned to you so we recomend in most cases that you send goods that are covered under a manufacturers warranty directly to the manufacturer for repair.'

Surely, this isn't what the law says. I'd be very unhappy having to accept a repaired item within 2 weeks of buying new, let alone being without my new purchase whilst it's being repaired. I thought the seller had responsibilities. Are these terms enforceable? I've seen the clause now so I won't buy here. I'm just interested.

  HondaMan 14:20 27 Apr 2010

That's your statutory right and they are reminding you of it. They are also telling you that it would be quicker to go direct to the manufacturer. In other words, they are banking on you needing it quickly and therefore going direct to manufacturer.

click here

  961 16:13 27 Apr 2010

I don't actually think these terms are outside the regulations

Remember under the distance selling regs you have the right to return for any reason for 7 days after receipt of the goods

After that if the goods develop a fault, your contract being with the retailer, you have the right to return the goods to them for repair under the terms of the warranty

While many retailers offer terms in advance of this (e.g. Argos, replace with new within 28 days if fault develops) what is being offered here is quite standard for "box shifters)

They are "inviting" you to send direct to the maker to save delay in getting the item (or a replacement) back. You don't have to do that but, in many cases, it may indeed save time

There is an alternative which they don't mention which is to reject the goods altogether and demand a refund on the basis that the goods were unfit for purpose etc

What you see here is the difference between box shifters who churn stuff out at the cheapest possible price and retailers who charge more and provide a higher standard of service if you have a problem

You decide which is best for you. Both systems will work but one is obviously more convenient

  spuds 20:53 27 Apr 2010

They are trying to put the onus of responsibility onto the manufacturer, when the law clearly states that it is the retailer's responsibility, and more so within the first six months.

Sending the goods direct to a manufacturer might be the quickest method of repair, but if the retailer hasn't been informed and they have not agreed (in writing as reference), then you may well lose your legal rights under consumer law.

It is not for the customer to pick up the bill, if an item is found to be faulty.

I would suggest that 5.1 is not illegal, just a little confusing in its present format ;o)

  DrATty 02:57 28 Apr 2010

Thank you for your replies. I think I'll shop elsewhere.
My favourite retailer, Amazon, has always exceeded my expectations and hasn't required me to deal with manufacturers.
I once received a refurbished device after it failed just a week from being new. It was clearly not new with scratches and a dent. It took weeks to sort out a proper replacement, with the seller and manufacturer arguing over responsibility. I'm wary now.

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