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3937 posts

Uber Geek

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# 242685 9-Nov-2018 11:14
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When managing the assessment and repair/replacement of a faulty item, is there any expectation or obligation on the retailer to pay for postage?

 

I've had two situations this last few weeks where they've gone two different ways: the first, PB Tech was happy to send a pre-paid courier sticker for my dodgy Chromebook; they also paid for its return last time it needed repair (and I assume will do so when it gets sent back this time).

 

In the second, I have been billed by the dealer for the cost of them to send me a temporary replacement charging cable for our Leaf (something I'd not expected at all), and I assume I'll be charged when they send the repaired/replacement unit back later. I have also paid for sending our faulty unit back to them, and again expect to pay to send their temporary replacement back.

 

Any advice on how this is typically managed by retailers?


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463 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2122655 9-Nov-2018 11:28
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I remember somewhere that its your responsibility to get it to them, but if the postage cost is expensive the company has to cover it.

1282 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122666 9-Nov-2018 11:46
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Except in the case of outright rejection, I don't think the CGA has a position on it (in the case of rejection buyers are responsible to get it back unless it is expensive to do so, in which case sellers are responsible to collect it).

 

What is reasonable might depend on lots of factors.

 

If you buy something from a physical shop, you're unlikely to ask for petrol money to return it.

 

If you buy something from a physical shop and drive across country, you're unlikely to ask the supplier to pay to send it back and forth.

 

If something arrives DOA you would certainly expect it to not cost you anything to get it replaced.

 

If  it was something you bought online 2 years ago it's perhaps reasonable to at least pay for sending it back to them yourself.

 

...

 

 

 

 





---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


 
 
 
 


66 posts

Master Geek


  # 2122671 9-Nov-2018 12:09
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https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/consumer-guarantees-act

 

 

 

"If you have to post or courier goods back to be repaired, you don’t have to pay for those costs."


1282 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122767 9-Nov-2018 14:24
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pom532:

 

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/consumer-guarantees-act

 

 

 

"If you have to post or courier goods back to be repaired, you don’t have to pay for those costs."

 

 

Unfortunately the CGA does not say this AFAIK, consumer.org is giving some wishful thinking there.

 

 

 

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0091/latest/resultsin.aspx?search=sw_096be8ed81666650_Consequential_25_se&p=1

 

"Consequential appeared 0 times in 0 sections"

 

"post appeared 0 times in 0 sections"

 

"courier appeared 0 times in 0 sections"

 

 

 

"costs" only appears with relevance in relation to rejection of the goods, or when the supplier does not repair them and you have to get them repaired elsewhere

 

and "transport" is only in relation to if you are rejecting the goods

 

(Rejection means when you give the goods back to the seller because the fault is substantial and you don't want them any more at all, not repaired or replaced, flat out rejected).

 

 

 

More than happy to be proven wrong with cite of the appropriate section of the CGA, but as I say, I don't think it exists.

 

 

 

 





---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


5525 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122778 9-Nov-2018 14:47
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sleemanj:

 

pom532:

 

https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/consumer-guarantees-act

 

 

 

"If you have to post or courier goods back to be repaired, you don’t have to pay for those costs."

 

 

Unfortunately the CGA does not say this AFAIK, consumer.org is giving some wishful thinking there.

 

 

Source

 

In addition to the remedies set out in subsection (2) and subsection (3), the consumer may obtain from the supplier damages for any loss or damage to the consumer resulting from the failure (other than loss or damage through reduction in value of the goods) which was reasonably foreseeable as liable to result from the failure.

 

Presumably postage could be considered a loss

 

EDIT: Wrong section.


4315 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122779 9-Nov-2018 14:49
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This is a consequential damages clause without using those words. 

 

 

 

In addition to the remedies set out in subsection (2) and subsection (3), the consumer
may obtain from the supplier damages for any loss or damage to the
consumer resulting from the failure (other than loss or damage through reduction
in value of the goods) which was reasonably foreseeable as liable to result
from the failure.

 

 

 

But realistically postage costs under a couple of hundred dollars are not worth pursuing in disputes, and the retailer knows that they can get away with smaller charges . 


1282 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122783 9-Nov-2018 14:55
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Mmm, I think that's a pretty tenuous conclusion generally speaking, based on that interpretation

 

"Hello Mr Warehouse customer enquiries person, I would like to return this widget, I purchased not two weeks ago and they have already failed, also, please reimburse me for the consequential loss arising in respect of the petrol I used in driving to your store to return this widget"

 

but whatever the case, if the business is going to make you pay for return shipping, then your two choices are

 

   1. pay for return shipping

 

   2. go to the disputes tribunal

 

would the DT wear the argument, I really don't think it's a sure bet in all circumstances.

 

 





---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


 
 
 
 




3937 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2122785 9-Nov-2018 15:00
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Thanks for the informative and useful posts.

 

That line from Consumer's website is interesting; it's clearly based on an interpretation of 'consequential loss'. I've just taken a quick look at the Act and think this is a generic term for the remedies provided for in subsection 18 (4):

 

In addition to the remedies set out in subsection (2) and subsection (3), the consumer may obtain from the supplier damages for any loss or damage to the
consumer resulting from the failure (other than loss or damage through reduction in value of the goods) which was reasonably foreseeable as liable to result
from the failure.

 

I'd say that's a fairly straight-forward reading of this clause; it'll be interesting to see what evidence Consumer has of making this statement, eg whether there are numerous examples of CGA cases that have ended up in the Disputes Tribunal awarding claimants for such costs (noting that DT findings aren't binding).

 

I'll play this one by ear, and see if they follow up the invoice. And, anyway, at this point the bigger issue is ensuring the faulty cable (which cost not far off $1k) is repaired or, ideally, replaced.

 

Edit: in wasting all that time researching and typing the above others have posted on the same!

 

I'd imagine that Consumer would have evidence to back up their inclusion of such costs as consequential loss.

 

In the end, shipping cables to and fro will cost at least $60 - a decent amount to be out of pocket for, given other firms seem to be set up to manage this process in a fairer way.


14031 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 2122786 9-Nov-2018 15:00
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Before you pay any money give MBIE and or Consumer a ring they will be best placed to advise you.





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


15023 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122816 9-Nov-2018 15:45
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I think you have to be a member of consumer to ask them questions. The CAB maybe a better bet. When I ave had to return something that has failed, the retailer has usually offered to send a courier bag, so it isn't usually an issue.  Also online retailer usually can get very good rates for couriering things as they use the services in bulk, which consumers can't get.


1282 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122945 9-Nov-2018 20:06
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mattwnz:

 

 get very good rates for couriering things as they use the services in bulk, which consumers can't get.

 

 

FWIW, everybody can now get pretty good rates, by using Trademe's Book A Courier, which is no longer limited to trademe sales, you can use it to send arbitrary parcels (only introduced earlier this week) - https://www.trademe.co.nz/MyTradeMe/Shipping/TradeMeShipping.aspx?id=0

 

 





---
James Sleeman
I sell lots of stuff for electronic enthusiasts...


4562 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2122988 9-Nov-2018 20:58
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Pretty sure Consumer won't help you unless you're a member.




3937 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2290273 5-Aug-2019 16:03
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So googling this same topic I've come across a thread I started myself!

 

I've got a fairly large item that looks like it needs to be sent from PN to Akld to be repaired by the retailer; it's too large for a courier, so will require being sent via Toll or similar.

 

No mention has been made of the CGA by either them or me, nor who would need to shoulder the shipping cost - either there or back.

 

I'm under no doubt that it's a repair that would appropriately be covered by the CGA - a product that's been well-looked after and that has developed a fault that many others of the same model have experienced (and the retailer has repaired).

 

Given it's not 100% clear as to whether the retailer is obliged to meet the cost of shipping the product back to them, and while I'm also going to give MBIE a call to see if they can give any guidance, any advice as to how best to approach this situation would be appreciated.

 

 


8751 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2290353 5-Aug-2019 16:27
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https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/consumer-guarantees-act

 

under the putting it right section

 

In addition to these rights, consumers may also claim for any reasonably foreseeable extra loss that results from the initial problem.

 

If you have to post or courier goods back to be repaired, you don’t have to pay for those costs.

 

The compensation for consequential loss must put you back in the position you would have been in if the goods or service hadn’t been faulty.




3937 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2290357 5-Aug-2019 16:36
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... and that interpretation is supported by the advisor I spoke to from MBIE, which is good to know.

 

While I wanted to know what the legal obligations were, I do hope it doesn't come to quoting legislation and the MBIE/Consumer advice - my suggestion is that they should find a local 'agent' (a bike shop repairer perhaps?) that can perform the repair on their behalf, as that will surely be a more cost-effective solution for them than having to ship the scooter there and back?

 

This must be a common issue that firms face in the age of online sales - who would want to be a retailer?!


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