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Topic # 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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246 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 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.

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  Reply # 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...


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 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."


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  Reply # 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...


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 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.


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  Reply # 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 . 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 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...




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  Reply # 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.


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  Reply # 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.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 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.


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  Reply # 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...


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


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