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Other PC Technology Buyers Guide: Consumer Rights

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Blogins, 2 Oct 2011.

  1. atc95

    atc95 I have the upgrade bug!

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    Any chance you could clarify where I stand on the following problem.

    I have a gigabyte g1 sniper m3 motherboard which when tested with 3 different gpus, did not display anything on the monitor in either of the x16 or x8 pci-e slots. It was purchased from amazon on the 29/09/12 but with unknown warranty. As a motherboard and working gpu are fairly essential to a computer I have replaced the motherboard but still have it.

    How would I go about returning, replacing or exchanging it and can it be done within warranty or statutory rights and if so, do I have to rebuild my pc to prove it is faulty?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    I would raise the issue with Amazon to gauge their response first.

    You can use the Sale of Goods Act but the onus is upon you to prove the motherboard failed and was not a question of your misuse but an inherent fault that existed at the time you purchased the hardware. Further to this you can raise a Section 75 claim against a credit card used to buy the motherboard if it cost £100 or over. Just see what Amazon say before escalating it the legal route and avoid spending money on the complaint at all costs! :thumb:
     
  3. atc95

    atc95 I have the upgrade bug!

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    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    No problem! Keep us updated with progress.
     
  5. narwen

    narwen narwen

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    I believe gigabyte m/b have a three year warranty. I would raise a rma with them.
     
  6. jimmyjj

    jimmyjj Member

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    Are they still refusing to sticky this thread?

    *Edit*

    I reported the thread and suggested it could be stickied, and lo and behold it was - almost instantly.

    I must say that is some mighty fine moderation, so thank you.
     
    Last edited: 6 Apr 2014
    Blogins likes this.
  7. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    Thank-You for highlighting this thread jimmyjj! :thumb:

    Surprised when I saw this stickied finally. Hopefully promote some more discussion around consumer rights. I certainly look forward to reading your stories of success or woe in this thread so others can learn.
     
  8. kissinger

    kissinger Member

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    Can I ask about an issue I'm having at the moment with a retailer (Scan). I started an RMA on the 16 December in relation to a motherboard I'd bought from them a while back. One of the PCIe slots stopped working.

    I sent the board in within a couple of days and they got around to testing it on the 29 December (I'll put that down to the Xmas rush) and it's now 5 February. That's more than 7 weeks since I started the RMA and nearly 6 since they tested it.

    As you might expect, I'm starting to get a bit sick of waiting to get my PC back up and running, but I was wondering what my legal situation is here? Is there a turnaround time they're supposed to stick to for a return like this and what rights do I have in terms of replacements/refunds?

    I spoke to someone on the phone yesterday who basically gave me 2 options: continue to wait for as long as it takes to get the board back (and who knows how long that could take?) or 'as a gesture of goodwill' he offered to refund me £10 (this is on an Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z/G3, which although it is getting on now was around ~£150 when I bought it new).
     
  9. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    7 weeks would strike me as unreasonable. Scan are keen to pursue warranty replacements but you do have grounds under the Sale of Goods Act citing the retailer is directly and legally responsible to resolve any issues with goods bought from them. Did you buy it directly from Scan using a credit card? Section 75 gives you more leverage if that's the case.
     
  10. kissinger

    kissinger Member

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    That's good to hear. I bought it with a debit card direct from Scan. I don't know if that counts.
     
  11. kissinger

    kissinger Member

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    I've been in touch with Trading Standards/Citizens Advice by email about the above issue I'm having and they've not been enormously helpful TBH. I could do with some clarification.

    They've said I have 2 options: (1) cite the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and ask for either a like-for-like replacement or refund (minus depreciation) or (2) go the warranty route and hold the relevant party in breach of contract for not honouring the warranty (which is a form of contract).

    I suppose the best option for me would be option 2, because I was within the warranty period, but that raises some questions.

    1. Does the fact that I've been made to wait 8 weeks represent a failure to honour the warranty? Couldn't they just say, we will honour the warranty, you just need to wait? To me, 8 weeks seems very unreasonable, but I suppose I will need some legal standing to make this case.

    2. Who am I holding in breach of contract: the retailer (Scan.co.uk) or the manufacturer? The manufacturer has only had the item for ~2 weeks, but the retailer has been faffing about for ~8 weeks.

    3. If the retailer can't provide a like-for-like replacement and I end up getting a refund, how do I calculate what a fair refund would be given depreciation? Because if I end up with £10 like the retailer is offering, what's the point?
     
  12. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    Sorry! Missed your post!

    Would I be right in saying you haven't declared a claim under the Sale of Goods Act against Scan yet? If that's the case then a warranty replacement is typically the process Scan follow as they have done. Saying that, the offer of £10 is an interesting development and nowhere near what it should be. Typically depreciation assumes a working lifespan of 6 years which is how long the Sale of Goods Act applies to any purchase. For arguments sake let's say you owned the motherboard for 3 years before the fault then you've used the product for half its lifetime. The refund should reflect this and based on the original purchase price a refund of £75 would be reasonable.

    Personally I would pursue the warranty replacement like a rabid dog since any other alternative will result in you losing out compared to the true value of the motherboard. If you had bought the motherboard on a credit card then Section 75 would be an excellent piece of legislation to pursue. Unfortunately a debit card does not offer comparable protection.

    Also the warranty is a nice extra and not something enshrined in law unless the manufacturer makes outlandish guarantees in the small print. However the law does make the retailer unaccountable for any goods they sell. That's where the Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Rights Directive come into play.
     
  13. BaronVonDuncs

    BaronVonDuncs New Member

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    A request for advice

    Blogins I would be very interested to hear your take on my problem.

    On 19th Feb 2015 purchased a motherboard Asus Maximus VII Formula from a well known internet retailer in Bolton. Received on 20th Feb and on delivery I inspected it by way of the naked eye and a magnifying lens mounted into a circular lamp and could see no damage. Went ahead and installed the CPU and on boot up got a message that a new CPU had been installed and push F1 for settings. Did so set the manufacturers default settings and rebooted. Same message comes up. Go through settings again, reboot, same message ad infinitum. Had a look round the Asus forum on my laptop and found some threads of people with the same problem so I followed the advice given by the various Asus moderators, none of it worked still getting the same message. Decided the board was faulty so on Sunday 22nd Feb I filled in a web form returns request on the retailers website. No response for 3 days. Filed a second request on Wednesday 25th Feb. On 26th Feb get an email requesting that I supply photographs of the socket and board. I refuse and again reiterate my request for a return. I also point out that as the 14 day period from delivery has not expired I would also like to claim a refund under the provisions of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, these came into force on 13th June 2014. A couple of hours later an RMA number arrives. The goods are posted and arrive in Bolton on the 27th Feb and are signed for. Enclosed with the package was a signed letter reiterating my request for a refund under the rights contained in the Consumer Contracts regulations.

    The goods are entered into the returns tracking system by the retailer and on Monday I check the system to see that the return has been rejected and a diagnosis of a damaged CPU socket is listed. No further testing appears to have taken place subsequent to the discovery of the alleged damage to the CPU socket. On 3rd March I receive an email from the retailer indicating that my return has been rejected and with a photo attachment and a waiver form attachment. The photo is this:

    [​IMG]

    The waiver form is the same one posted above on this thread and in lots of other places so I am sure you have seen it before.

    The offer is that if I sign the waiver then the retailer will attempt repair of the socket/pin but this can not be guaranteed and the time frame for this is not guaranteed. Obviously this represents a considerable diminution of my rights under the Sales of Goods Act as the retailer in providing a repair remedy under that Act would need to guarantee their work and if they failed to repair it successfully then another remedy such as replacement or refund would be appropriate. In this instance if the retailer is unsuccessful in their attempted repair then where does that leave me? The retailer in their email stated that if I agreed to the repair then if it were successful the board could be processed for replacement or repair. My question here is why? If as they have assumed the fault problem I reported is a consequence of the bent pin then once its repaired the fault has been remedied so how would further rights for remedy come to exist? If the fault won't be solved by any repair of the pin then surely the Sales of Goods Act still applies in that the board has an inherent fault that renders it not fit for purpose.

    Obviously the retailer is relying on S.48A(4) of the Sales of Goods Act, as amended by The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, that states that:

    (4)Subsection (3) above does not apply if—
    (a)it is established that the goods did so conform at that date;
    (b)its application is incompatible with the nature of the goods or the nature of the lack of conformity.]​

    Under S.48A(3) however:

    (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.​

    My understanding of this is that the where a fault exists then the automatic assumption is that it existed at the time of delivery. This assumption can be displaced by the seller if they can establish they did so conform at that date, or alternatively where the nature of the lack of conformity makes its application incompatible. This essentially means they must prove that at the time of delivery the goods conformed. This doesn't appear to have been done in my case other than to suggest that as the goods were new and in a new package from the manufacturer then that alone would establish their conformity. This seems to me to be bollocks. On that basis every retailer in the country could claim the establishment of conformity by mere virtue of the goods being in a box from the manufacturer that's clearly not a sensible or sustainable argument.

    That pretty much just leaves S.48A (4)(b) as capable of being relied upon, the relevant bit to my mind is "or the nature of the lack of conformity." In this instance the nature of the lack of conformity is damage to a CPU socket pin. Firstly the burden to prove the nature of the lack of conformity is incompatible remains on the seller. Secondly the purpose of this section to my mind is to restrict the application of section 48A (3) where it would be unfair to impose a legal assumption of a fault having been in existence at the time of delivery. An example of this would be extensive damage caused by the buyer. However I would suggest that the burden of proof rests on the seller to show that the buyer caused any damage, or that the nature and extent of the damage is such that no other conclusion can be reached, namely that the nature of the lack of conformity is self evidently as a consequence of buyer misuse or damage. In my case I don't believe the retailer have come even close to discharging that burden of proof. Firstly they have presented no evidence that I damaged the socket and I have made no admission to having done so. Secondly the nature of the lack of conformity in this case is one bent pin in the corner which would probably be concealed under the metal CPU retaining bracket. Its hard to see how very minor damage of this sort could be said to fit the requirement of being incompatible with sub section (3) by virtue merely of the nature of its lack of conformity i.e. its of such a type and extent that it is self evidently a consequence of buyer misuse or damage. My conclusion based on my experience combined with my reading of a number of other peoples posts on various other forums is in fact that a blanket policy of always rejecting returns on motherboards with any damage no matter how minor is being exercised and to my mind this negates the purposes of the legislation. The SOGA is requiring that a seller demonstrate that the lack of conformity is incompatible in each individual case as it is brought to the attention of the seller. A blanket policy ignores this requirement and does not properly assess the actual nature of the lack of conformity of each particular good and in my mind cannot meet the statutory requirement in order to discharge the sub section (3) assumption that the defect existed at the time of delivery.

    The problem I see is that a number of these things are really questions of fact and as such would really need to be decided by a tribunal of law. The question of whether the assertion that a new box equals a perfectly conforming good inside it is really for a court to decide. I think also the issue of whether the damage in question can be said to be such a lack of conformity as to make the automatic assumption of the defect existing at time of delivery incompatible is a question of fact. It's something that would need to be decided based on the available evidence to determine if the extent of the damage is such that on the balance of probabilities buyer misuse or damage must have caused it.

    Sorry for the long post but I would appreciate any comments you have or advice you can offer.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2015
  14. BaronVonDuncs

    BaronVonDuncs New Member

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    EDIT
     
    Last edited: 4 Mar 2015
  15. BaronVonDuncs

    BaronVonDuncs New Member

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    After a lot of agonizing I opted to fight this one. I was very tempted to take the path of least resistance and sign the waiver in the hope that it would be repaired and then refunded or replaced but the reference to it being "processed" made me wonder if it would end up with a repair then a test and it being declared working and then simply returned to me. I end up with a MOBO I don't want that I wouldn't get much for on Ebay as its been repaired, at least with a replacement I could probably get a decent Ebay price for it. I will probably lose out on this one ultimately but I hate the idea of them thumbing their nose at the consumer law and getting away with it so sod it I will cause them as much trouble as I can.

    I contacted Citizens Advice and filed a complaint with them asking for a referral to Bolton Trading Standards. I will also file with the Retail Ombudsman in due course and put in a dispute with PayPal as well. I have written a long letter explaining my position and emailed it back to them so once they get through the 13 pages of that I will see what they say! If anyone has the stamina there is a pdf of my letter, hopefully I got it working ok.

    http://issuu.com/baronvonduncs/docs/mobo_return_problem_case_2/1
     
  16. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    It's an expensive bit of kit so fight for your rights! :thumb:

    Just for future reference, avoid PayPal where possible. It's always best to pay direct using a credit card. I've said it before and I'll say it again, by using a credit card you get some very robust legislation to protect the expensive purchase you made under something called Section 75. Legislation I highlighted in my original post in this thread and law that beats a warranty in many cases.

    Interesting to hear the 'Waiver' is still being used. I've skimmed over the letter you posted and it looks like you nailed the major points. My only advice at this stage would be to remain dispassionate about the situation to advance your cause. Also keep us posted on your progress!
     
  17. BaronVonDuncs

    BaronVonDuncs New Member

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    I had been in touch with Citizens Advice who had referred it to Trading Standards in Bolton.

    However just this minute got an email from the trader saying that a full refund has been authorised and will be paid into my PayPal account in the next 3 days. So there you go obviously boring the pants of them with my 13 odd pages was successful. So that's the end of that.

    Thanks for your help and I appreciated that you took the time to have a quick scan of my letter. It was very valuable to have the benefit of a second opinion to tell me it was on the right track.
     
  18. Blogins

    Blogins Panda have Guns

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    Excellent result!

    Remember for next time it's best to avoid using Pay Pal and instead make payment directly with the retailer with a credit card. When all else fails Section 75 is an excellent piece of legislation to fall back upon to get your hard earned cash refunded.
     
  19. dhicks001

    dhicks001 New Member

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    Excellent advice.
     
  20. BaronVonDuncs

    BaronVonDuncs New Member

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    Its not quite over yet but its looking good. I checked the returns tracking system and it appears that the board was actually tested after all and a fault found. So if that's the case and the refund is on the basis of the goods being faulty then I am also entitled to my return postage back. Of course I could just let it go but why should I let them skimp on their full legal obligation? Plus I won't be happy until the money actually turns up. I have heard from others of examples where the trader in question promised a refund but never actually delivered so they had to use a section 75 claim to actually recover the money.

    I agree with you on the Section 75 issue and if I had a credit card I would use it. As it happens I am actually disabled at this point and unable to work due to my disability so I only have an income based on various disability benefits. I used to work obviously but my health issues have precluded it for the last 5 years. So all I have available is a debit card and I don't believe that section 75 applies in the same way to those. Unfortunately banks just don't give credit cards to you when you don't have a job.
     

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