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Thread: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

  1. #17
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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by neonplanet40 View Post
    Not if its been opened. Otherwise how could they sell it again?
    ...
    Snootyjim is right, and while a lot of retailers try to tell you you can't open goods, with one specific exception, that isn't true. The exception is sealed CDs, DVSs and software, and the logic is obvious .... it's to prevent people buying, copying and returning it.

    In general, however, your only duty is to take "reasonable care" of the goods, and to return them is their return is requested by the seller, and usually, to return them at your cost (unless you have some other right of return, like a Sale of Goods Act breach of satisfactory quality or fitness for purpose).. The shop can try to define what they mean by that, but if it's unreasonable, it won't get past a court .... or shouldn't, anyway.

    Basically, with the DSR, :-

    - if the seller is a business, and
    - if the buyer is a consumer, and
    - as long as the goods aren't one of the relatively limited number of exceptions to the DSR (and a laptop isn't one), and
    - you cancel within the mandated time period (* see note) and in the mandated way (usually, in writing)

    .... then the refund is mandatory, period. No exceptions. None whatever.

    It certainly does not depend on the goods being returned unopened, or on them being returned within a given time period, or even on them being returned at all, ever.

    Provided the buyer cancels in time, and does so in the required form (so stick to writing) and to one of the required addresses, then as long as the goods aren't an exception, you get a refund of the purchase price, including outbound (to you) shipping.

    However .... you still have that duty to take "reasonable care", and to return the goods if asked to do so. If you don't return them when asked, or don't take "reasonable care", then the seller can take action against you in civil court for breach of contract. What they cannot (legally) do is hold up your refund over it. And ultimately, it's for that court, when they take you to court, to determine if you took reasonable care or not.

    The DTI, who were behind the creation of the DSR, have issued written guidance to businesses stating quite explicitly that opening the goods to conduct the type of inspection you could conduct in a shop will not be a failure to taker reasonable care. Businesses should know that, and while the final decision will be for the court, that statement is likely to be rather persuasive, and so is the legislation ensuring that business contracts with consumers have terms that are "reasonable". Even if a business puts a condition in their contract and you agree to it, if it fails that test, it will not be enforceable.

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    The Irish Drunk! neonplanet40's Avatar
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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    Snootyjim is right, and while a lot of retailers try to tell you you can't open goods, with one specific exception, that isn't true. The exception is sealed CDs, DVSs and software, and the logic is obvious .... it's to prevent people buying, copying and returning it.

    In general, however, your only duty is to take "reasonable care" of the goods, and to return them is their return is requested by the seller, and usually, to return them at your cost (unless you have some other right of return, like a Sale of Goods Act breach of satisfactory quality or fitness for purpose).. The shop can try to define what they mean by that, but if it's unreasonable, it won't get past a court .... or shouldn't, anyway.
    Thanks for that, seems we learn something new everyday
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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    - as long as the goods aren't one of the relatively limited number of exceptions to the DSR (and a laptop isn't one)
    Although Scan claim that it is, intriguingly.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Although Scan claim that it is, intriguingly.
    I have no idea what Scan do or do not claim, or why, though if they do indeed claim that, I'd love to see it get past a judge.

    What I will say is that I have seen countless websites, usually not the larger names, claim all sorts of crap in relation to the DSR, and a large proportion of it, including claims of charging restocking fees for DSR returns, is utter cobblers. Last time I read Scan's T&Cs, it looked like a very accurate representation of the DSR, and I didn't see them attempt to claim anything unjustified.

    About the only situation I can think of where a laptop, or any PC, might possibly not be covered by the DSR is if it's "customised", and that does not include building a spec from standard components. If, however, you can a customised design painted onto the case, that probably would be covered by that exclusion (so not covered by the DSR). That "customised" stipulation is intended for things like having names engraved on a product, or curtains or clothes made to measure, and again, the DTI are very clear that is does not include building from standard parts, like specifying your hard drive and graphics card, or alloy wheels on your new car.

    Having said all that, this thread is not about Scan, and please let's not make it so.


    All IMHO, of course, I make no claim to being a lawyer.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Surely DSR is irrelevant here as the laptop is faulty, therefore not fit for purpose and a full refund should be issued - full stop. If I were you I would concentrate on the Sale of Goods Act, as your claim is on the basis that the product is faulty.

    Theoretically if you returned it for testing and they have not issued a full refund it suggests that they didn't find the fault. If you can prove the fault, they should offer you a full refund under the SoGA. See below guidance thereon from Which?:

    "If you buy a product that turns out to be faulty, you can choose to 'reject' it: give it back and get your money back. However, the law gives you only a 'reasonable' time to do this – what is reasonable depends on the product and how obvious the fault is. However, even with something like a car, you usually have no more than three to four weeks from when you receive it to reject it.

    You have the right to get a faulty item replaced or repaired, if you're happy with this (or if it's too late to reject it). You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whatever would be cheapest.

    If your claim under the Sale of Goods Act ends up in court, you may have to prove that the fault was present when you bought the item and not, for example, something that was the result of normal wear and tear."

    As you have video evidence you should be able to do this without any problem.

    ETA: If they won't play ball, your first stop should be a Visa Debit chargeback, which they do offer. If that fails, use MoneyClaim online to take them to the small claims court - costs around £25-£40 I think, which you can claim back from the defendant.

    Moneyclaim Online: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome
    Last edited by mrskalniel; 30-05-2011 at 05:34 PM. Reason: add detail

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    I have no idea what Scan do or do not claim, or why, though if they do indeed claim that, I'd love to see it get past a judge...

    About the only situation I can think of where a laptop, or any PC, might possibly not be covered by the DSR is if it's "customised", and that does not include building a spec from standard components. If, however, you can a customised design painted onto the case, that probably would be covered by that exclusion (so not covered by the DSR). That "customised" stipulation is intended for things like having names engraved on a product, or curtains or clothes made to measure, and again, the DTI are very clear that is does not include building from standard parts, like specifying your hard drive and graphics card, or alloy wheels on your new car.

    Having said all that, this thread is not about Scan, and please let's not make it so.
    They use the software clause... and yes, fair point, I will leave it there. Your comment re the laptop just reminded me of it.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by mrskalniel View Post
    Surely DSR is irrelevant here as the laptop is faulty, therefore not fit for purpose and a full refund should be issued - full stop. If I were you I would concentrate on the Sale of Goods Act, as your claim is on the basis that the product is faulty.

    Theoretically if you returned it for testing and they have not issued a full refund it suggests that they didn't find the fault. If you can prove the fault, they should offer you a full refund under the SoGA. See below guidance thereon from Which?:

    "If you buy a product that turns out to be faulty, you can choose to 'reject' it: give it back and get your money back. However, the law gives you only a 'reasonable' time to do this – what is reasonable depends on the product and how obvious the fault is. However, even with something like a car, you usually have no more than three to four weeks from when you receive it to reject it.

    You have the right to get a faulty item replaced or repaired, if you're happy with this (or if it's too late to reject it). You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whatever would be cheapest.

    If your claim under the Sale of Goods Act ends up in court, you may have to prove that the fault was present when you bought the item and not, for example, something that was the result of normal wear and tear."

    As you have video evidence you should be able to do this without any problem.

    ETA: If they won't play ball, your first stop should be a Visa Debit chargeback, which they do offer. If that fails, use MoneyClaim online to take them to the small claims court - costs around £25-£40 I think, which you can claim back from the defendant.

    Moneyclaim Online: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome
    The DSR is almost certainly irrelevant now, but wouldn't have been if it was used quickly enough. It provides much stronger protection than the Sale of Goods Act if the consumer acts within the time limit, and does so on a contract to which it applies and does so in the required way.

    Also, the DSR and SoGA aren't mutually exclusive - you can use both, at the same time.

    For instance, normally with the DSR, you'd get the postage you paid in the contract piece to get the goods shipped to you back, but would have to pay the cost of shipping the goods back to the supplier .... unless some other reason for rejecting the goods, including the SOGA rights, also exists.

    So .... if you have faulty goods and use the DSR and the SoGA, you do not have to establish an inherent fault to return them for refund, and if the SoGA applies, get your return postage/shipping cost back too.

    Bear in mind that if you return goods under SoGA, the notion of them being faulty can be disputed, and for that matter, they can be accepted as faulty but the motion that the fault was "inherent" can be disputed. And if it is disputed, any refund is likely to be held up while it's argued over, and possibly, not returned to you unless you take it to court and win.

    But under the DSR, provided you meet the basic criteria I mentioned ...

    - you're a consumer and the seller is a business
    - the contract is covered by the DSR,
    - you cancel in the right way and in time

    .... then the right to a refund is automatic regardless of why you're returning the goods or if there is a fault, the nature or cause of it, and what's more, it MUST be within 30 days. If, for whatever reason that refund is not forthcoming within that period, the seller is in breach of the DSR.

    If, therefore, they are going to argue about the existence or nature of a fault, they must still refund within 30 days, and if they want to get their money back from the consumer, would then subsequently have to take the consumer to court and prove that the consumer did not take reasonable care of the goods.

    Don't forget that the SoGA doesn't give you a right to a refund just because the goods are faulty. That fault must have been inherent at the time of sale. Under consumer law, there is a legal presumption that the fault is inherent if goods are returned within the first 6 months, but that does come with the caveat of unless the seller can prove otherwise.


    To put it simply, if you rely on the SoGA, you can get caught up in arguments over whether goods are faulty, and if they are, whether they are faulty because of something inherent, or because of something the consumer has done (like damaged them, abused them, not followed instructions, etc. and you don't get your refund until that;s settled.

    Under the DSR, that refund MUST be paid within 30 days, and the seller can take the buyer to court afterwards if he feels he can prove, on balance of probability, that the buyer did not take reasonable care of the goods.

    The DSR the stronger, clearer and faster process to use .... if it applies and you act fast enough to use it.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    They use the software clause... and yes, fair point, I will leave it there. Your comment re the laptop just reminded me of it.
    So don't open software packaging until you're sure you want to keep the machine.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    What about windows already installed with the COA on the bottom. Opening software packaging
    would be openeing the laptop box. I expect that is what scan claims.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    So don't open software packaging until you're sure you want to keep the machine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kumagoro View Post
    What about windows already installed with the COA on the bottom. Opening software packaging
    would be openeing the laptop box. I expect that is what scan claims.
    Is correct.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    Ignore

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    While we all know the terms of software not being refundable if you open it, This is not the case with the OP's laptop.
    How would he ever know there was something wrong with it's electronic interfaces if he didn't try to use it?
    You can't say if someone uses a computer that they are not entitled to a refund or replacement if it is faulty.

    I'm not a lawyer but, I know for a fact that he is covered by both the DSR and SOGA.

    If after you have contacted the company they refuse to refund the 20% file a complaint with Consumer direct.

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    Re: Been charged for returning a faulty laptop...

    I will speak to them tomorrow, thanks for the replies, I expect it will be very useful.

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