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716 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 205509 16-Nov-2016 12:39
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I have recently had an encounter with a NZ automotive parts retailer in regards to a faulty radar detector -

 

Item purchased on Friday 11th

 

Fault noticed on Tuesday 15th

 

Item returned Wednesday 16th

 

 

 

The nature of the fault was in my mind significant enough to warrant a refund -

 

Unit failed to power on (intermittently)

 

Unit locked on to low level band (either Ka or K band) and would not clear, emitting a "Geiger Counter" type sound from the speaker that could not be silenced. Note, it did this regardless of location or whether or not there were actually any forms of radar in the vicinity (think only person on a rural mode in the boonies, no chance of leakage from an actual radar emitting device).

 

If unit locked up, required disconnection from the power and reconnection, it may or may not power up (see above)

 

Given that the unit is only 4 days old when the fault occured, to me, this was a "substantial fault" and I desired a refund. The store refused, saying they had the right to send away for repair / assessment. When I queried them on the fact I don't believe they had the right to choose, as in my mind, the fault was substantial and I was entitled to reject the goods, he simply disagreed citing that to assess whether or not the fault was substantial, it had to be sent away.

 

I don't doubt that the unit will be found faulty and ultimately either replaced or refunded, but who decides the fault is substantial?

 

I have looked through the relevant legislation, particularly -

 

21 Failure of substantial character

 

     

  •  

     

    For the purposes of section 18(3), a failure to comply with a guarantee is of a substantial character in any case where—

     

       

    •  

      (a) the goods would not have been acquired by a reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the nature and extent of the failure;

       

     

 

 

This seems pretty clear about what constitutes substantial failure but nothing on who decides

 

 

 

Sen

 

 


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  Reply # 1671950 16-Nov-2016 12:52
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I believe the company have a right to investigate the cause of the fault and from there decide if it is 'substantial' or not.  This may include checking to ensure it is a genuine fault and was not caused by the user (e.g. left in a hot car, water damaged or dropped).

 

While the fault has rendered the unit unusable I don't believe it automatically mean it is substantial.  It could be a relatively minor fault that is easily fixed.  Don't confuse symptoms with cause.  If the internal circuitry is fried beyond repair...then you may have an argument.     

 

 

 

21Failure of substantial character

 

     

  •  

     

    For the purposes of section 18(3), a failure to comply with a guarantee is of a substantial character in any case where—

     

       

    •  

      (a)the goods would not have been acquired by a reasonable consumer fully acquainted with the nature and extent of the failure; or

       

       

    •  

      (b)the goods depart in 1 or more significant respects from the description by which they were supplied or, where they were supplied by reference to a sample or demonstration model, from the sample or demonstration model; or

       

       

    •  

      (c)the goods are substantially unfit for a purpose for which goods of the type in question are commonly supplied or, where section 8(1) applies, the goods are unfit for a particular purpose made known to the supplier or represented by the supplier to be a purpose for which the goods would be fit, and the goods cannot easily and within a reasonable time be remedied to make them fit for such purpose; or

       

       

    •  

      (d)the goods are not of acceptable quality within the meaning of section 7 because they are unsafe.

       

     

   





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  Reply # 1672086 16-Nov-2016 14:25
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Ultimately you could have the Disputes Tribunal decide but hopefully it won't come to that.





Mike

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1672109 16-Nov-2016 14:40
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I was more peeved off at the shortness of the failure and then their refusal to refund. Now if I had had it for a long period and something went wrong, for sure, send it away and get it looked at, but its less than a week old so I would have expected better from a national chain




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  Reply # 1672114 16-Nov-2016 14:44
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MikeAqua:

 

Ultimately you could have the Disputes Tribunal decide but hopefully it won't come to that.

 

 

 

 

I don't think it will come to that, although the company name might suggest that they like to Rip Every Poor C Off, I'm hoping for the right outcome.


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  Reply # 1672117 16-Nov-2016 14:47
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Yeah, in less than a week, I'd have hoped for a replacement on the spot. Not necessarily a refund.

 

They do have the right to assess it though. Not great customer service.


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  Reply # 1672151 16-Nov-2016 15:13
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Not great customer service but they sound like they're within their rights in this case and have acted reasonably. Demanding a refund 5 days after buying something isn't quite right.





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  Reply # 1672157 16-Nov-2016 15:18
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timmmay:

 

Not great customer service but they sound like they're within their rights in this case and have acted reasonably. Demanding a refund 5 days after buying something isn't quite right.

 

 

 

 

I tend to be fairly intolerant of things that fail so quickly, and have no faith that even a replacement wouldn't exhibit the same pattern (irrational perhaps, but once bitten......)


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  Reply # 1672160 16-Nov-2016 15:26
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Got to give them a chance to send it away to be diagnosed and repaired.

 

2-3 weeks would be more than enough time to go away and come back repaired, any longer than that and it should be a refund.

 

Once it comes back I would quiz them on what the repair was, use your judgement and reject the repair if you think it was anything other than minor, remember you paid for a brand new unit not a repaired unit.

 

 


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  Reply # 1672164 16-Nov-2016 15:31
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With most good companies, they will just switch with a new one after that short a time, as it is basically DOA. I mean you didn't buy a second hand repaired unit, you purchased a new unit.


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  Reply # 1672296 16-Nov-2016 18:53
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sen8or:

 

timmmay:

 

Not great customer service but they sound like they're within their rights in this case and have acted reasonably. Demanding a refund 5 days after buying something isn't quite right.

 

 

 

 

I tend to be fairly intolerant of things that fail so quickly, and have no faith that even a replacement wouldn't exhibit the same pattern (irrational perhaps, but once bitten......)

 

 

 

 

Yeah - I felt like that about my Note 7 when I returned it the first time ....


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  Reply # 1672571 17-Nov-2016 09:53
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I'd want a replacement, not a repair. As others have said, a fault after 4 days is what I would think most would consider a DOA. DOAs should be replaced, not repaired.


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  Reply # 1673163 17-Nov-2016 21:23
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IANAL (paging @dejadeadnz), but the act as written appears to be quite unequivocal that where the failure is substantial the consumer has the right to reject the goods, and when you reject the goods you have a choice of either refund or replacement. The store only has the right to chose to repair or replace when the failure is not substantial as above. The store is in the wrong.

 

 

 

 





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  Reply # 1673180 17-Nov-2016 21:34
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Lias:

 

IANAL (paging @dejadeadnz), but the act as written appears to be quite unequivocal that where the failure is substantial the consumer has the right to reject the goods, and when you reject the goods you have a choice of either refund or replacement. The store only has the right to chose to repair or replace when the failure is not substantial as above. The store is in the wrong.  

 

 

Yep, that's the law. And whilst I have no time of the day for devices like radar detectors being on the market, it's also very clear to me that the symptoms as described is a failure of a substantial character,

 

 

 

 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1676038 23-Nov-2016 13:53
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Resolved, sort of.

 

Went back yesterday as I still hadn't heard anything (store originally told me it would be the next day, I waited until after the weekend). Store manager phoned supplier and I was given a replacement immediately. I don't know if they found the fault on the original or decided simply to replace it, so alls well that ends well I guess.

 

Issue about who decides what constitutes "substantial" seems very open to interpretation.

 

They even stated that they have to abide by their suppliers rules, one supplier allows return for credit no questions asked another requires inspection / investigation of the unit / fault before issuing a credit. This would indicate that their view is that regardless of rights under CGA, their commercial arrangement with their supplier supercedes their obligations (which it doesn't).

 

It did get me reading through various cases from the disputes tribunal which was interesting in terms of what sort of things go to the disputes tribunal and their values.

 

 


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  Reply # 1676150 23-Nov-2016 14:59
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sen8or:

Resolved, sort of.


Went back yesterday as I still hadn't heard anything (store originally told me it would be the next day, I waited until after the weekend). Store manager phoned supplier and I was given a replacement immediately. I don't know if they found the fault on the original or decided simply to replace it, so alls well that ends well I guess.


By ends well i take it that you've tried the replacement and it works without any of the previous symptoms?

I thought i had a faulty car radio untill i twigged that i had changed the usb charger in the Aux power socket on the same fuse. Without the charger the radio behaves.

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