What's a fair time for a repair under warranty?

  MrNewName 12:48 26 Mar 2010

On September 9th 2009 I purchased a Tamron lens from a retail store.

In late February it developed a fault and was taken back to the shop on March 2nd when I was told that it would take "two to three weeks".

Today I called the shop and they said that it is still with Tamron who have acknowledged receipt of the lens but have given no indication of how much longer it will be in their possession.

Given that the lens developed a fault in under 6 months and now it has been back at the seller for a over three weeks, what is considered to be a reasonable time for me to be without it?

The seller has twice told me that they will let me know when I will have it back but I have to call them each time to find out.

I know it has been less than one month but I think that I should be getting some indication of its return time soon.

So, my question - what is considered to be a fair time for a repair and what should I do next?

  961 13:56 26 Mar 2010

I would suggest you are able to reject it because the fault developed in under 6 months and either demand a new replacement or a refund

By agreeing to a repair you may have damaged your ability to do this

My understanding is that your contract is with the retailer, and they are responsible for repair or replacement

Consult trading standards for your options and, if you purchased with a credit card and the item cost between £100 and £30k or a Visa debit card (whatever the cost) advise the card company that you wish a refund

  MrNewName 16:07 26 Mar 2010

Thanks 961; I will pay a visit to the shop over the next few weeks and have a chat in person. I knew that there was some relevance to the 6 months time-frame but as you say, I may have limited my options. However, I have not agreed to a repair; only that they can send the item back to be checked out by Tamron.

I will give them a few more days and then write to them after the forthcoming public holidays asking for a refund and see where we get to from here. I'd be happy with either a replacement or a refund at this stage.

  Kevscar1 16:24 26 Mar 2010

How long is a piece of string. Without knowing how serious the fault is it's impossible to give a reasonable time. Then you have to add in how much work they already had when the repairers got your lens.

  961 17:04 26 Mar 2010

My reply was based on the current view that if a product goes wrong early in its life it may be assumed to have been faulty when new. 6 months is often given as a starting point

I also assume that if the retailer sends the lens away to the maker they are likely to try to repair it rather than replace it

With an expensive lens would you want that or would you prefer to elect to have a replacement or a refund, partly on a view that it may, for example, go wrong again or not be repaired properly. When you first take it back to the shop I think you may elect to have it repaired, have it replaced, have a refund, or leave the choice of repair or replace to the shopkeeper

IMHO I would now write to the shop (or its head office) saying that you are unhappy with the present situation, especially bearing in mind the loss of use, and would like to claim a refund

Again, if appropriate, write to the card issuer in similar terms as suggested above quoting s75 of the consumer credit act (or chargeback if a visa debit card)

  MrNewName 17:32 26 Mar 2010

Thanks again 961, a helpful response.

The lens was about £500 and began to "stick" in one particular zoom area.

My reading of the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations 2002 is that if the fault develops within 6 months, it is assumed to have been there from the beginning.

Further: You can ask for a repair or replacement, or a reduction in the price to allow for the fault, or you can give the goods back and ask for your money back - this is known as 'rescission'. You may not get the full amount back; because the trader may be able to reduce it to allow for the use you have had of the goods.

I think that I will write to them over the weekend and ask for a refund and see what happens - being without the item is an inconvenience but not a major disaster. Nonetheless, I think that it is too much to be without it for such a period of time. As you suggest, a repair is not ideal as the problem may arise again. However, "if you ask for a repair or replacement, but these are not possible, or if you ask for a repair and it takes longer than is necessary or significantly inconveniences you (e.g. if the fault is on a wedding dress and the repair cannot be done soon enough for the wedding), you can still ask for a reduction or rescission [refund]." That seems to me to mean that if it takes too long to get the repair done, it is reasonable to ask for a refund.

This is why I asked what might be a reasonable time frame for a repair.

  961 17:43 26 Mar 2010

I think if the lens had cost that much I'd want a new one for the reasons given

I also imagine if you ask for a reduction you are rather limited in your options if it goes wrong again

It may of course be that a light touch of wd40 on the mechanism will solve the problem for good. After all, it helped get Apollo to the moon and back

As to a reasonable time frame? As Kevscar says, how long is a piece of string. It depends on where the Tamron service facility is. UK? Europe? Far East?

I guess 28 days is a start but judging from how long some stuff stays away from its owner who can honestly say?

Drop them a line and, in the meantime, tell the card company

  spuds 17:48 26 Mar 2010

The problem with consumer law is the word 'reasonable', which can really mean anything, but 30 days is the usual suggestion for repairs or replacement and refunds.

It looks like we have the classic case of the retailer trying to push the matter elsewhere, and not undertaking their legal obligations, by making you do all the chasing. Sending the item to the manufacturer is the normal for items like the one in question, because the retailer does not have the necessary facilities, but it still remains the retailers responsibility to resolve the matter 'with haste'.

If you do a section 75, then in the first instant you may well find that the original 'finance provider' may try to reject the claim. This is something that you will need to deal with at the time.

Further advice Consumer Direct click here

  MrNewName 18:32 30 Mar 2010

I posted a letter yesterday saying that I was not pleased with the delay and that as the item was under 6 months old when the problem arose, I wished to choose recission of the contract.

This afternoon I got a call saying that the lens had been returned and I could pick it up. I agreed subject to the proviso that if a fault develops again, I can have a refund. This was agreed and I got an email stating this.

I'm happy with the outcome but it seems somewhat coincidental that the reply came at the same time that the letter was received by them.

Thanks to those who took the time to respond in what has been for me an informative manner.

  Kevscar1 07:33 31 Mar 2010

Seems unlikely that they got your letter and managed to get hold of the repairers and get it back to themselves the sameday especially if it had been sent abroad to be repaired.

  jitendrasnv 07:49 31 Mar 2010


I think a products need to get its service twice if the warranty period is of one year and same should be the ratio if the the warranty is more.

This will reduce the chances of damage.

click here

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