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My Unsolveable TV Hell - Can anyone offer advice on what to do legally?

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by DaveH, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. DaveH

    DaveH
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    Dear all,

    First off let me apologise for this lengthy and quite frankly boring post.

    I only post the following details in an effort to get my fellow homecinema users advice on where I stand legally and what I could possible do.

    You must understand the headache I have had of not having a tv to properly watch since February.

    Many thanks.

    Dave.

    Sony KV28FD1E - History

    December 1998 - Sony KV28FD1E £2200 purchased from Ashton Davies..

    February 2001 - Contacted SONY UK about inoperable TV Set. Put into contact with authorised SONY REPAIR dealer DK AUDIO. Set showed beginning of symptoms 4 months earlier.

    17th February 2001 - DK AUDIO charges £52.29 for soldering joints in set.

    21st February 2001 - SONY UK refuse to pay above sum due to 'age' of set.

    10th March 2001 - TV repeats inoperable problems again. TV returned to DK AUDIO for testing

    6th April 2001 - Estimate from DK AUDIO received to repair set with a new picture tube £475.97. I contact SONY upon news

    19th April 2001 - SONY UK send a letter informing that they will supply DK AUDIO the tube to the set. I only pay the £45.83 for labour that I am assured I will get reimbursed for by SONY UK.

    16th June 2001 - Tube eventually gets replaced and delivered by DK AUDIO.

    25th June 2001 - New symptoms NOT evident before replaced tube of burn stains and lop sided uneven geometry/picture. DKAUDIO diagnosed errors to set requiring 2 purity magnets. These are put on order.

    26th June 2001- SONY UK send acknowledgement that I will be reimbursed £45.83 in 28 days. As yet received nothing.

    11th June 2001 - Purity magnets installed. Forced to pay £28.74 despite faults being DK AUDIO's setup. They also have a 3 month guarantee. Magnets do NOTHING to improve sets new problems.

    16th July 2001 - New symptoms in TV set still existent. TV taken away by DK AUDIO.

    26th July 2001 - TV delivered UNTESTED. NO IMPROVEMENT at all.

    28th July 2001 - TV picked up again by DKAUDIO.

    6th August 2001 - TV delivered back to me. Assured it is fine. Minimal improvement. Picture is now getting worse and will become un-watchable.

    7th August 2001 - SONY UK contacted. SONY UK give me 2 options after admitting that my set is no longer made so THEY CANNOT REPLACE IT. 1st option is to let DK AUDIO check it again where I will not be charged due to DKAUDIO's 3 month guarantee. 2nd option get a new authorised SONY repair team to repair my set. Upon investigation new company would charge £60 just for call out and not including any parts needed. SONY UK inform me to send them any new receipts for bill and they will decide what action to take. No commitment on payment though.

    11th August 2001 - Due to extra possible expense I rule out the new repair company and I am forced to get a date pencilled in for DK AUDIO to look at set again.
     
  2. gbmitie

    gbmitie
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    Not only are you having mega problems with SONY but you have lost 3 days from August as you are now on 11th Aug, see last entry.

    Get a PANA

    SANAP
     
  3. DaveH

    DaveH
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    Lost 3 days. Thanks,

    very funny.

    This is a date pencilled in for the incapable engineers to come round.
     
  4. mart.stokes

    mart.stokes
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    DaveH, can't you persuade them that there is a third option? Replace the set with a newer one? I know that the chances are that you will be offered a set that costs much less but, at the end of the day, what is best; a £2200 set that looks crap or a £1000+ set that looks good? It's no use sitting there knowing you have an expensive telly (and lets face it, it was expensive because it was one of the first of its kind) when the picture does your head in!

    The major problem here is the fact that your TV is the focal point of your living room. It's not like you can reject the original repair and tell them to take it away until they have fixed it because then MAYBE NO TELLY FOR MONTHS! You need to remove yourself from even "knowing" that they have replaced the tube, in reality that is of little interest to you. The actual lack of a suitable repair is the important thing if you go legal on this. People have much the same sort of problems with car repairs, they can't afford to be without a car and this allows the garage/manufacturer to mess them about and hope the customer goes away.
     
  5. mart.stokes

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    Well, I'm no legal eagle but you did say earlier that they couldn't replace your set because it was no longer made. This intimated to me that a conversation of this sort had taken place, if their reason for not replacing it is that it isn't made any more and you have some kind of evidence of them saying that then you are in with a chance.

    Warranties are a funny issue, in reality you have no more come back on your £2000+ set than somebody who purchased a £50 set BUT companies are more likely to listen to claims made against their top of the range items (after all, this set and the 32 inch version were the Sony "best of the best" at the time).

    I would push Sony on a replacement set, they have no obligation at all but even they must see that it would be futile to keep the conversation going. It is costing them time and money, if they gave you a new set it is going to cost THEM (a guess here because I don't know what the mark up is) £600 and DaveH is off their backs! A bargain! You MUST push them on the point that this is a prestige item that you purchased.

    It, of course, prompts the question; would anybody spend more than a couple of hundred quid on a TV set given that after (for example) twelve months there is absolutely no guarantee of it ever working again? We all take big gambles with our money based on what we expect to be reasonable. And it is a gamble, if my 50" Pioneer blew up tomorrow I am going to be well p***ed off that I only got a couple of years use out of it (okay, in reality I have an extended warranty, but I could end up in exactly the same situation as DaveH if I wasn't happy with the repair). How would I explain to my wife that I wanted to spend £2500 on a Denon AVC-A1SE because my 18 month old AVC-A1D had gone up in flames?

    Come to think of it, every single person (including me) on this forum is bonkers! The money we spend on items on a guarantee of it working for only 12 months!!!!!!! I've now started to worry myself!!!!
     
  6. loz

    loz
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    Look at this page from <a href="http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/cgi-bin/calitem.cgi?file=ADV0054-1011.txt" target="_blank">Trading Standards</a>.<br />you will see that as part of the sale of goods act the retailer is responsible for something they sell for 6 years. YES, 6 years.

    In the FAQ it gives an example<br />Quote<br />"Q. I bought a fridge/freezer about 18 months ago, and the freezer section has completely failed. I went back to the<br />shop, and they refused to do anything as it was outside the original 12 month guarantee. What are my rights?<br />A. Firstly, when you buy goods from a shop, you enter into a contract under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended),<br />which holds the shop liable for up to 6 years after purchase, providing that you can show that the problem is down to an<br />unreasonable fault and not normal wear and tear. Secondly, remember that the guarantee is only ever going to be in<br />addition to your legal rights, and is offered by the manufacturer of the goods as a goodwill gesture. Don't be taken in<br />by the shop's argument here - they are using the issue of the guarantee as a red herring to try to avoid their legal<br />obligations toward you. See our leaflet 'Buying Goods' for more information on your rights."

    However, it does say that you are not entitled to a full refund, but to some compensation. Quote "Usually, this means<br />repair or replacement, or if neither of these is possible or acceptable, then reasonable financial compensation. The<br />amount depends on how long you have had the goods, the nature or degree of the problem, how much use you have had from<br />them etc."

    The important part though, is you should be taking this matter up with the retailer, Ashton Davies, not Sony.<br />The contract is between you and the retailer, not Sony.<br />It might be too late though now, as you have gone direct to Sony. However, it must be worth a try

    regards<br />Loz

    [ 08-08-2001: Message edited by: loz ]</p>
     
  7. KAO

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    Lol is right...the warranty is in addition to your legal rights as a consumer. I'd be tempted to go to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau and see what they think....they deal with this sort of stuff all the time, and can tell you your legal rights as well as how likely you are to get satisfaction.
     
  8. mart.stokes

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    Good advice off Loz, the six year thing is a sort of commitment to support. They cannot walk away from the product BUT it doesn't mean support is free of charge.

    Anyhow, I should see what is offered. The point is they have shot themselves in the foot a little by already changing the tube and therefore accepting a level of liability. You weren't accepting a risk by having the tube installed and they weren't doing you a favour! They were attempting to correct their problem.

    The only thing that can be said in Sony's defence is that the original posting may have been different had the replacment tube done the business! They seem to have acted very well apart from the cr*p outcome, DOH!!!!

    [ 08-08-2001: Message edited by: mjs ]</p>
     
  9. General Skanky

    General Skanky
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    What a pickle.

    The one point that is the non-definable area,is what would you call wear and tear and what would they call wear and tear, in conjunction with the word reasonable?

    To be blunt, even though the 6 year part is excellent advice, it is hell to get what you want out of warranty.

    All I can say from my time as a service engineer with this sort of thing, is be as awkward and downright annoying to the 'retailer' as you can!

    Sony really have nothing to do with it. I know they built it but the law (as stated) says it's between you and the retailer.<br />Argue like mad. But I must say that faults on modern sets are truely a bitch to sort out. No excuse I know, but it doesn't suprise me that it hasn't been resolved to your satisfaction.<br />I can picture it now.......

    Your TV is on a bench next to the engineer whilst he works on another set waitng for yours to go faulty. However in his opinion it's within spec and nothing he can do. Sony say not their problem, do a modification or something. If in doubt, change the tube. Several recalls later the engineer is thinking, nothing wrong with it last time, leave it on test and send it back a week later. Hence the merry go round. If you had a weird fault, it's still there as the engineer has never seen the fault before if at all. Sony's tech dept don't know either and send out parts like a 'jungle IC', ie the brain for a part of the set, and see what happens. All the time, cost builds up that the retailer and Sony that could do without. You have a bad set that is still faulty!<br />I have seen that sort of scenario many a time. Fussy customer is the phrase used.

    So you see why I say complain, complain, complain!<br />It is an uphill struggle I know. And I believe it's wrong. However, do not give up.<br />Good luck.

    At the end of the day, unless you really rip down the walls, the (pessimistic) scene as above may well continue!
     
  10. DaveH

    DaveH
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    Thanks Mart.

    Can I really insist on a new TV?

    I mean it was out of warranty (just).

    But it is getting older and older by the day.

    How would I go about getting a new set? From Sony themselves?

    Many thanks.

    Dave.
     
  11. simon1

    simon1
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    DaveH, in my opinion, your best bet is to continue persuing Sony. Allthough people are quite correct in what they say about retailer's responsibility, it is an even more difficult route, I beleive.

    What I would do, would be to put everthything in writing to Sony (telephone calls are best avoided) detailing everything. Explain that whilst you appreciate there was an original 12 month guarantee in force, that this was in addition to your statutory rights and that you expect their product to be fit for it's purpose.

    You have been very patient and accomodating to their suggestions of types of repair, but beleive that this route has been exhausted. You feel that another repair would be inappropriate.

    Remind them of the price you paid (the sale of goods act does mention that price is an indicator of what you can expect from a product) and what a loyal Sony customer you were, blah, blah, blah.

    Indicate that if they were prepared to replace the set for something similar, that you are willing to make some contribution towards how much your set has depreciated.

    This shows willing and that your not after ought for naught! It is a compromise, I know, but it is your best bet.

    Although we have laws in place here like the sale of goods act, they are very weak when it comes to going to court, and it would be the retailer not the manufacturer that you would sue.

    I tried taking on a car dealer/finance company a few years back for supplying a defective car that I had bought brand new. The car had had some unkown damage/repair work done to it prior to me buying it and was discovered after just 10 days. I garaged the car immediately after without ever driving it again on solicitor's advice. It took about 8/9 months to get to the final court hearing (all this time I didn't drive the car) and I LOST! Ended up costing me about £7,500.

    On the other hand I've had some good service from several consumer electronic companies:

    I got a new remote (off the better speced model) because I complained to Toshiba about the one supplied not having a 'counter reset' button as described in the user manual.

    I had an Alpine car radio/cd repaired free of charge by them 4 months out of guarantee.

    Panasonic surprised me the most though. A few years back I discovered I was having probs with a nicam vcr, which I'd bought mail order. Prob was down to software in the machine. They'd tried to repair it with no joy and because I said I'd lost my receipt they picked the machine up by courier at their cost and sent me out a cheque for the published cost price + vat. This worked out to be +/- £10 of what I had actually paid (mail order price was very cheap £400 vs £529rrp.

    Good Luck!
     
  12. DaveH

    DaveH
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    My sincere thanks everyone.

    This is a help no end.

    I will keep badgering Sony.

    I have been in touch with Trading Standards and they recommended that I get an independent engineer to assess the problem and then write off to Sony and DK Audio.

    The guy mentioned that this kind of thing is unnacceptable and was surprised that Sony even supplied a tube as they are normally not known for their gestures.

    Their goodwill gesture is the key here he feels.

    <br />Thanks you all very much.

    This has been a great help.
     
  13. LV426

    LV426
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    My approach to this issue, which DID work was....

    I asked 192 for the phone number of the Sony UK Head Office.

    I rang said number and asked the switchboard operator for the name of the Managing Director, which was freely given.

    I wrote a personally addressed letter - in calm, factual, non-offensive, sorry-to-bother-you-but-could-you-help-please terms - to the MD.

    The MD did not contact me. But his staff did, by return. Sorry for the problems; they'll look into it and get back to me.

    Later, a "techy(?)" from their R&D place in Thatham called me and I described the problems. The TV (which was, actually riddled with faults, some of which I did not know about) was collected, shipped to Thatcham, personally attended to by the said "techy" who called me regularly to update me, ask more questions about the problems, etc., and was eventually returned about 4 weeks later - fully fixed and set up almost perfectly. At no cost. The TV was about 20 months old - ie well out of warranty.

    The only shame is that I had to go to these lengths (there was an extended period of dealing with the retailer and certain other Sony repair centres before I resorted to this action) in order to get the result. But, I have NO complaints about the end result.
     

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