I bought a weights bench from a UK company, I discussed it with them and they assured me it was of equal if not better quality than a similar one I had experience of (which was out of stock). The original cost was £199 + £45 delivery.
The bench arrived, I assembled it and it was of terrible quality, very flimsy, bars not parallel, holes were not machined accurately so the safety pin could not be inserted, basically not too safe to use.
The company ignored my attempts to contact them for weeks, asked me to send them photos of the problems which I did, were still reluctant to take it back but then agreed to it. The same courier company that delivered it picked it up and returned it to them. They said they wanted to charge an £80 fee which they first described as "to cover the carriage and additional insurance charges we will have to incur" I was not too pleased about this, seeing as the fault was with their product, I also assumed it covered the original delivery as well as the return.
They ignored my attempts to contact them again for several weeks so I contacted AIB and they suggested I start chargeback procedures claiming non-receipt of goods (as they had now been returned).
This must have spured the company into action however they are only gave a refund minus this £80 fee and the £45 delivery. Thus the original charge to my card was €315, and after returning this faulty item I only got a refund of €147.
I'm none too pleased by this. I understand if I was returning a working product under the 7 day cooling off period that I would not expect a postage refund but the fact is the item was not fit for use and thus I don't see why I should get less than a 50% refund on the original amount paid.
Moreso, I'm very annoyed by the companies very poor customer service and general unhelpfulness. I'd have been willing to accept the £80 charge to cover the delivery costs but now that I have wasted so much time I'd like to get a full refund.
I have to write a letter to the credit card company to accompany my chargeback claim, I will explain the situation as I have here
Do you think I have a right to demand a full refund given the circumstances? I'm not sure what the legislation when it comes to returning faulty goods, should the company cover returning postage costs and or refund the original delivery costs?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Incidentally, I've since ordered the bench I originally intended to get from another company and there is no comparison in terms of quality, I'm very happy with it. It was also delivered quicker and for considerably lower cost (even though it is a lot heavier).
No idea where you stand legally on this one, but you might try completing the chargeback and either asking the cc company to send back the refund they gave you, or return it yourself by registered post, keeping a copy of the cheque for your own records of course Whichever route you take it might be best to email them letting them know the action you are taking and keep a copy of all correspondence. They can't claim ignorance then.
The situation still remains the same, despite them giving you a partial refund. They sold you a substandard item, and I don't see that they have the right to charge you the cost of returning the item. Now, again, this is not a legal point of view, just my opinion. Usually the UK and Ireland have similar legislation so try looking up the equivalent of their Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act.
Thanks for the reply.
I am struggling to find the relevant info, if anyone else knows where I stand on this please let me know.
Anyone else got any ideas?
Maybe have a look at the Which? website: http://www.which.co.uk/advice/your-rights/index.jsp
They provide the kind of information the National Consumer Agency does here. I'm not sure, but you may be able to contact them for advice also.
First off I have no experience doing this myself, but from listening to radio talkshows and doing some internet reading this is my advice/2 cents to help you.
If I was in your shoes I'd write up a letter saying stuff like......
you want a full refund within 5 working days of receipt of this letter. Tell them you are unhappy with the product and unhappy with the customer service you have received and now you want a full refund of ALL costs you have incurred since dealing with them, give detail of the costs so they dont try send you some of the cost. If [Company Name] fails to compensate your full incurred costs after 5 working days on receipt of this letter, further legal action will be taken by you to obtain the money.
Then finish off by saying you look foward to a favourable response.
Send this by registered post. If you have a name of a person from that company that you have been dealing with make sure it is addressed to that person. This tends to scare the **** out of some companies and makes them act. Write the letter out formal and to the point. Start making diary dates of what you are doing and replies you got, times and dates of phone calls if you make any and whom you spoke too. If after 5 business working of them receiving the registered post and they haven't refunded ALL incurred costs to you, start getting legal with them. They are taking the piss out of you now and you have given them the opportunity to resolve this the easy way for them.
For a small fee you could next try the Small Claims Court, very cheap and easy to do. However I am not sure if they chase english based companies. Still worth a try. Ring them up and ask them if you can use the Irish Small Cliams Court.
Also, Dermott Jewell the Chief Executive of The Consumer association of Ireland (http://www.consumerassociation.ie/) is on NewTalk FM every monday night. Email your problem into him and see what he recommends.
Let us know how you get on and keep us updated on this thread. Fingers crossed they cave in after a legal threat in first formal letter.
Thanks very much for the replies guys, I appreciate them, am reading through the links now.
Having sent my letter to AIB Credit Card Services, I'll give them a ring today to see what they think.
If they can just reverse the payment and transfer the full amount back to my card that is the easiest way to go I think, I've already wasted a lot of time arguing with the company.
I've seen that in other disputes the credit card company normally takes the side of the customer so hopefully they will do so here.
Only problem is it might take some time.
I might give the threatening letter a go as well in order to try and hurry them along.
Still can't find clarification on whether company is obliged to refund return postage on a faulty item under UK law, I believe they are certainly obliged to refund the full ammount paid originally, in my case the company could claim it cost them £80+ to have the item returned.
Any further advice would be much appreciated.
It might be worth contacting the UK Trading standards office as well and seeing if they would be willing to help or investigate the issue.
Thanks for that.
I rang AIB and they say they will be in touch within 2 weeks, there is a backlog of chargebacks to work through apparently.
I got a reply from the European Consumer Centre also:
"In relation to your query, according to the Directive 1999/44/EC if the product is faulty you are entitled to repair or replacement free of charge and you may seek redress within the first two years from the date of purchase. Trader also has to cover the cost of shipment. Only if the company is unable to provide repair or replacement within reasonable time can consumer ask for full refund.
Please note that you should now contact the company in writing (by registered post or email) and request full refund as the company failed to respond to your previous requests and provide replacement. You can mention that you contacted the European Consumer Centre for advice on this matter and that you are aware of your rights.
You should keep the copy of your correspondence for future reference in case this problem escalates.
You can contact our office again for further advice if you do not receive any assistance or if the response from the company is not satisfactory. "
I found this a little difficult to understand, it seems as though I should be entitled to a full refund?
I guess I will proceed with the letter by registered post idea and hope that AIB go ahead with the chargeback.
Let me know if you have any further suggestions.
Thanks again for all the advice.