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Customers being unreasonable

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by scstock, Jul 31, 2020 at 10:01 AM.

  1. scstock

    scstock UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I've had a couple of instances recently of customers that seem to have an inflated view of what their Consumer Rights are. I am aware that it is a very grey area so I'd be interested in getting opinions.

    The latest case: someone bought a used piece of professional audio equipment from us in October 2016 for £395. It is now not powering up. I can have it repaired or even replaced for what I think is a reasonable fee of £95 +VAT but they seem to think it should be done FOC.

    Are they being unreasonable or should I just suck it up?
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 10:01 AM By: scstock Member since: Mar 27, 2009
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  2. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    4 years ago. I'd say their rights are zero unless there was a strong implication that it should be very durable, which is unlikely in AV.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 10:10 AM By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
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  3. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Just for the sake of offering an alternative view. How often does this happen and what is the actual cost to your for fixing it? Then, what kind of goodwill and publicity can you buy for that amount?

    Given the time, it's an extreme case and I doubt you're obliged to anything, but, from personal experience, a goodwill gesture can go a long way.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 11:01 AM By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
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  4. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Stick to your guns. I would point out the secondhand goods are four years older, they probably only came with a one year guarantee as standard. If they choose to decline your offer of repair just move on. Crazy to expect four years warranty on secondhand goods.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:10 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  5. scstock

    scstock UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I don't believe it is as cut and dried as that. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says that goods must last "a reasonable time" - and that can be anything up to six years from the date of purchase.

    https://www.theguardian.com/money/2006/mar/25/consumernews.howtocomplain

     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:20 PM By: scstock Member since: Mar 27, 2009
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  6. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:30 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  7. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Ace Full Member

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    @scstock four years sounds like a "reasonable time" for second hand AV given that the article you linked to says six years maximum for any goods (meaning including the most durable new ones).

    The Consumer Rights Act also says:

    "The quality of goods is satisfactory if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory"

    Duarbility is an aspect of satisfactory quality.

    If you had sold it new it might not have been clear cut, but I think second hand AV equipment that lasts four years is fairly clearly of satisfactory quality to a reasonable person.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:52 PM
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:46 PM By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
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  8. Mister B

    Mister B UKBF Ace Free Member

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    If you buy a sound bar, today, from Currys, then the standard guarantee is for one year. If your customer asked the same question of Currys, as they are asking of you, their request would be refused. And quite rightly so.

    IMHO, your customer is trying it on and I would offer nothing more than you have already. If you lose them as a customer, then so be it as it sounds like the type of customer that you could do without anyway.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 12:48 PM By: Mister B Member since: Aug 31, 2007
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  9. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Ace Full Member

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    Not "rightly so" - they would be refusing the customer their rights under the Consumer Rights Act (maybe not if its four years, but definitely if its just over an year or two). The whole point of the Guardian article linked to earlier is that retailers are routinely, and as a matter of company policy, refusing to abide by the law.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020 at 1:33 PM
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 1:04 PM By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
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  10. alan1302

    alan1302 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    That's for new items - it was used 4 years ago - so they have no right to a repair.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 1:27 PM By: alan1302 Member since: Jun 2, 2018
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  11. scstock

    scstock UKBF Regular Free Member

    102 20
    No difference apparently:

    https://tamebay.com/2015/10/the-consumer-rights-act-2015-2nd-hand-goods.html

    When buying 2nd hand goods through a retailer or online from an Ebay trader you have the same rights as if you were purchasing the goods as new. This means that the item must be of satisfactory quality, based on what a reasonable person would expect, taking into account the price, it must be fit for purpose and it must meet the expectations of the consumer
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:10 PM By: scstock Member since: Mar 27, 2009
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  12. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I think four years of use before breaking down shows the goods to be of suitable quality. I wouldn’t be doing anything other than what you offered already. The customer would have to prove the goods were faulty in a court to get anything more.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:13 PM By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
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  13. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    4 years are they having a giraffe.

    They could have been using it everyday for 12+ hours, its bound to get some wear and tear.

    I would be embarrassed to go back to any shop after 4 years to say something has stopped working.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 2:26 PM By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
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  14. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Legend Full Member

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    Not powering up sounds like a really simple fault. Internal fuse - rectifier bridge bust - some dufus thing like that.

    That said, this sounds like one of the home-recording glitterati and they are nearly always a PITA. They want everything audio for nothing. They use krack-software, download stolen samples and buy nasty, cheap rubbish like Behringer and expect it to last for decades.

    But fawn all over some stupid guitar for £5,000 - despite the fact that they can't even play a scale on the damn thing!

    There is something about picking up a musical instrument that stops some people's brains from functioning properly!

    As for the OP - the longest guarantee given is three years from Thomann, after which even they tell the customer to politely F-off! If a dealer sells a used car he must provide a three-month guarantee - and no more!
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 3:23 PM By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
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  15. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Ace Full Member

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    The consumer has the same rights but that does not mean they are entitled to the the same level of "satisfactory quality". They are entitled to what a "reasonable person" would expect taking into account that it is second hand, the nature of the goods, any warnings they were given etc.

    If you buy second hand car from a dealer, you can expect it to have not major faults but you cannot expect it to be as reliable as a brand new, or expect the dealer to pay for the next few years repairs.

    Incidently guarantees/warranties are a bit of a red herring, because they can only give the consumer extra rights. Regardless of the terms of the warranty they cannot reduce the rights the legislation gives you.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 3:44 PM By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
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  16. BusterBloodvessel

    BusterBloodvessel UKBF Regular Free Member

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    I too would be embarassed to ask for an FOC repair, even if I'd bought it new, never mind second hand!

    Had our fair share of issues with P.A. and lighting gear in our band...if I bought something like that second hand and got 4 years out of it I wouldn't bat an eyelid at paying for a repair.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 4:00 PM By: BusterBloodvessel Member since: Jan 22, 2018
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  17. scstock

    scstock UKBF Regular Free Member

    102 20
    A Dealer or Manufacturer Warranty is only in addition to Consumer Rights, it doesn't negate them.

    And yes, I've been dealing with Home Recording people all my working life!
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 4:16 PM By: scstock Member since: Mar 27, 2009
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  18. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

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    Sounds like you've convinced yourself you really want to repair it for free.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 4:38 PM By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
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  19. Financial-Modeller

    Financial-Modeller UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    745 256
    Did the customer buy the professional audio equipment in their professional capacity for commercial use, or did they buy it in their personal capacity as a consumer, @scstock This could affect their rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

    In any case, it sounds like a great opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a happy one, @scstock

    Offer to sell them a newer and more reliable item, at a discounted price if necessary, and offer to dispose of the old one for them without charge! If a commercial customer, remind them that you're taking away a headache for them under WEEE!

    Obviously repair the older item and sell it again. Everybody is happy! :)
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 5:58 PM By: Financial-Modeller Member since: Jul 3, 2012
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  20. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

    5,770 1,055
    Reasonable is the key word.
    I would expect a brand new car to work in 4 years.
    If I sent my phone back to Samsung after 4 years I am sure they would tell me where to go.

    If you disagree with their view, let them take the next steps.
     
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 6:26 PM By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #20