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Where does a paranoid purchaser buy?

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by peejay, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. peejay

    peejay
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    Plasmas cost a lot of money. And they seem to have some particular issues that you can only find out about in your our living room. I’m thinking of dead pixels, noisy pictures and even literal noisiness on some models. So where to buy if you want to be able to send the thing back again without having to have an argument with someone?

    John Lewis seems to be one option – although not everybody reports having a good experience with them. They don’t have a no-questions-asked return policy. If you have a bad pixel, they will send an engineer round to see whether it looks prominent or not. Whilst they seem usually to replace a screen with a bad pixel, strictly they can refer to the “n bad pixels” policies of the manufacturers (which seem to me to be totally unacceptable, but that’s another issue).

    Richer Sounds have a genuine no-questions-asked policy, 7 days I think, and pretty good prices. Perhaps a limited range, but that’s fine if you want one of those shiny new Hitachis(!) They also have branches, so you presumably wouldn’t need to pay return costs if it will fit in your car.

    Unbeatable also appear to have a no-questions-asked policy, allowing 21 days. They have a rider that large domestic appliances are excluded, but I’ve read here that means fridges and not TVs. I wouldn’t take my word for it, though – I’d get this in writing before buying. You don’t get refunded delivery or return costs, which can be a lot.

    Some people have suggested distance selling regulations (which give you a no-questions-asked 7 day period and full refund) can provide safety for most purchases. This is NOT true. The regulations only apply to companies that ONLY sell through the internet. If a retailer has a shop, they will not apply. This is why tvandvideodirect, for example, allows you to return things only if they are unopened. They have a shop, so the distance selling regulations do not apply.

    Are there any other retailers that people can recommend for paranoid purchasers?

    peejay
     
  2. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    If its piece of mind that you wont get stuck with a faulty Plasma then I'd recommend going with someone like AV-Sales, Joe@TMF, Ivojo, or similar as they are staffed by very good people with a good knowledge of their products and so they know when a product isn't right and will sort it out for you, but if its a case of you might just want to try and then send back, well maybe someone like RS or unbeatable would be your best bet...

    This isn't quite true as far as I know, distance selling rules apply to anything that you buy without going in to a store, i.e. mail order or internet, and even if a store has a bricks and mortar operation it shouldn't matter as long as they also operate a mail order or internet service.

    Cheers

    Ryan
     
  3. PhillipStanton

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    Always bear in mind that with any major purchase you are best off buying:
    • from the internet, over the phone or mail order
    • via a credit card.
    All purchases off a UK internet site, by phone within the UK or by mail order are covered by the Distance Selling Regulations 2000 - basic rule is that the supplier HAS to take it back if returned within a given time period. Your only liability is the postage back and a responsibility to ensure that the goods are in "as sold" condition (this allows for unpacking and trying).

    The credit card is an important back stop. If something goes wrong and you've used a credit card (note credit, NOT debit card) then you have a hire purchase agreement with the credit card company, regardless of whether you've paid the bill or not. Any claim not resolved by the seller can be taken up with the credit card company.

    In practice, most credit card companies reserve the right to take the money back, unilaterally, from a retailer in the event of a dispute.

    Credit cards often provide other advantages like price matching (Barclaycard) or free extended warranties (

    Regardless of the above, you should always use a retailler you believe will be around in the longer term, but back that up sensibly.

    For example, buy from John Lewis over the internet using an RBS Avanta card and you get:
    • cover under distance selling regulations if you don't like the screen
    • free five year guarantee from John Lewis
    • the credit card guarantee of two years on top of the manufacturer's guarantee if John Lewis go belly up
    • the credit card company to whinge to if you can't resolve a dispute with JL.
     
  4. peejay

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    Part of the reason for my posting is to correct a common misconception about the distance selling regulations. I've checked again with the Trading Standards Central website , and it is very clear that they do NOT apply to all internet transactions:

    "the Regulations only apply when you buy from a trader who is organised to sell to you without face to face contact. So, if you saw something in a shop window, went home and ordered the goods from the shop by phone, this will not be considered to be buying at a 'Distance'. "

    If a trader has a shop, then the distance selling regulations do not apply.
     
  5. PhillipStanton

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    Peejay

    First of all, thanks for this because I didn't understand this. You learn something new every day. :lesson:

    HOWEVER (and curiously) :confused:

    The statutory instrument itself says:

    So I'm not sure that the Trading Standards simplification is correct.

    I'd certainly agree that IF you went to a shop and then ordered through the web site AND it could be demonstrated that you did that - then the regulations apply.

    IMHO the wording itself is clear about the contract being specific to the contract in question and the onus would be on the company to show that you went into one of their stores as part of the contract.

    Stand to be (and happy to be) corrected on this as I'm not a lawyer (though I do a lot of contract stuff as part of my job).

    As I ask, is there a lawyer in the house?
     
  6. CrumpetMan

    CrumpetMan
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    That's not strictly true as I ordered a TV on the internet from Comet after viewing it in one of their stores. I returned it under the distance selling regulations. I think the clause stated above is more for non chain stores who also accept orders by telephone.

    Comet and the like quite often have different prices for the same item in store and on their website. If you buy it online from a supplier who also has a shop you are still entitled to use the distance selling regulation. Afterall, how on earth are they going to prove that you went into a store to look at a item and then ordered it via their website?
     
  7. PhillipStanton

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    I see your angle on this CrumpetMan and it certainly bears with re-reading. That is:
    • you go into a store and see a product
    • you go home
    • you phone them back and order
    Wouldn't be distance selling, but:
    • you phone phone John Lewis central order line
    Is distance selling

    Perhaps.
    Like I asked, lawyer, lawyer?:hiya:
     
  8. peejay

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    Phillip,

    Thanks for finding the actual statutory instrument. That's what I was going to look for next if people needed further persuading. However I agree with your reading of it. Pretty poor that the Trading Standards help page isn't - or doesn't appear to be - consistent with the law. Maybe they just don't want people to think they have rights that they don't. Maybe I'll email them about it.

    (I'm not a lawyer either, by the way.)

    But if our understanding of the law is correct, then people like tvandvideodirect have terms and conditions that are actually illegal. And their t&c's can't override the law. However my paranoia lends me to believe they would argue the point, and I prefer to avoid arguments if possible - so I'd prefer to take my business elsewhere. I guess the paranoid will check a suppliers t&c's - and query them if necessary.

    peejay
     
  9. PhillipStanton

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    Re-reading the Trading Standards stuff against the Statutory Instrument I think they do agree.

    But its a terribly misleading example and very easily mis-read (as I did until CrumpetMan chipped in).

    Whole heartedly agree that going with any supplier whose opening position on Ts & Cs is very restrictive isn't something worth doing when such a lot of money is at stake. In a sense, it doesn't matter who's right and who's wrong if you've parted with a couple of thousand pounds; don't like the telly and are in dispute with a supplier.

    Always remember to use the credit card though.
     
  10. Dave R

    Dave R
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    The extended warrant on some credit cards referred to earlier doesn't apply to Plasma's bought on Barclaycard.
    Apparently their "engineer's can't repair them".....
     

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