Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Jesurgislac Novitiate

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    Default Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    On 23rd December, I bought a Sony Ericsson W660i from a local Three shop. It turned out to be faulty - the charger didn't work, and when under pressure the Three shop gave me a working charger (they insisted they didn't have to) I didn't seem to be able to do anything with the phone while it was charging - I switched it on several times and got nothing but a "Charging" message.

    Worst of all, inside my home, I can't use it: although the bars say it is receiving a full signal, the phone screen says "Emerg. calls only". (For obvious reasons, I haven't checked to see if it really *is* emergency calls only.)

    I rang their helpline (on my old mobile, and then on my landline) and got a very helpful guy who ran some troubleshooting checks for me and said it looked like that I had was a faulty phone.

    I took it back to the shop on 31st December, and they claimed they didn't have to replace it even though what I was asking for was a like-for-like exchange within the 14-day cooling off period. They offered to send it away to be repaired after New Year, which would mean I'd get it back just after the 14-day cooling off period is over (unless you allow for the non-working days of Christmas and Hogmanay - I'm in Scotland).

    The helpline guy called me back as promised today, listened to what I had to say, and went into bland "no comment" mode, which didn't surprise me: I had started quoting the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

    My questions are:

    Surely it's still the law that if a company sells faulty goods they have to replace it or refund within 30 days?

    Surely it's still the law that I have 14 days to change my mind about a mobile phone supplier, and one of the valid reasons for rejecting a contract is that I can't get a signal at home?

    I presented those options to the Three helpline - that if they wouldn't replace the faulty phone, I could certainly still cancel the whole contract, and he claimed promptly that I couldn't. (The shop's attitude has been that I'm stuck - the phone is faulty, too bad, I should send it off for repair.)

    I haven't yet ever been able to use this phone at all.

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  2. #2
    N.P N.P is offline
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    Default Re: Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    Hi there J (I couldn`t spell your full username, LOL).

    I`m having a similar chew with 3 regarding a friends phone.

    His phone is only 4 months old and the charger fried the phone when he charged it up. 3 have the WORST Customer Service on the planet. They should be shot for taking the **** out of people.

    My thread in here if you interested? -

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...ged-phone.html

    Although we haven`t got the problem sorted yet, a good contact on CAGicon, who is in his 3rd year as a Law Student is going to knock me up a letter before actionicon, which will threaten Court Action is they don`t play ball.

    At present, he is helping a lot of other people in trouble, as he is a Site Helper, but will do my letter as soon as he can.

    If you don`t sort out your own problem your welcome to check in on my thread to see what happens, and borrow the letter to edit for your own needs. Not sure when though.

    So, in the mean time, just keep fighting.

    Regards


    N.P


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesurgislac View Post
    Surely it's still the law that if a company sells faulty goods they have to replace it or refund within 30 days?

    Surely it's still the law that I have 14 days to change my mind about a mobile phone supplier, and one of the valid reasons for rejecting a contract is that I can't get a signal at home?
    Actually, no, these are the additional rights offered by some suppliers.

    What the law says is this: that you must be given a 'reasonable' length of time to examine the goods and check they are satisfactory. If they are not, and you are quick, you are entitled to reject them and have a full refund.

    What is a "reasonable" time is not defined, but just over 1 week (including days where shops were closed as well!) should very much come under that definition IMO.

    I would go back to the shop with phone stating that you are rejecting the goods as faulty, as is your right under SOGAicon 1979 and stating that you want an exchange or a refund. I would also key in the number for your local Consumer Direct in current phone, and if they insist on denying you your statutory rights, phone CD there and then, from the shop.

    I always carry with me a copy of the TS leaflet on SOGA, the one for Scotland can be found here, it's worth printing a copy and taking it with you too.

    Let us know how you get on.

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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder Jesurgislac Novitiate

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    Default Re: Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    Dear 3,

    In 23rd December, I signed a contract with you for 18 months mobile phone service: as part of that contract, you supplied me with a Sony Ericsson W660i Black. This transaction took place at the Three shop at 74/75 Princes St, Edinburgh, EH2 2DF.

    On 27th December, I took the phone back to the shop, as I had been unable to fit a SIM card. The shop fitted the SIM card. I took it home and attempted to charge the battery. The charger did not work. I returned to the shop the next day. The shop manager claimed that as the charger was not covered by warranty, 3 were not required to replace it: however, I did get a new charger that day - the one which the shop had been using to charge the W660i phones.

    When the phone was plugged in and the battery was charging, the phone would do nothing but display a "charging" message: I tried several times, switching it on and off, and was unable to get any other response. When the battery was fully charged, the phone would not connect to the network.

    I rang your helpline (on my old mobile, and then on my landline) and got a very helpful guy (Ethan) who ran some troubleshooting checks for me and said it looked like that I had was a faulty phone.

    I took it back to the shop on 31st December, and they claimed they didn't have to replace it even though what I was asking for was a like-for-like exchange within the 14-day cooling off period. They offered to send it away to be repaired after the New Year holidaysicon (1st and 2nd January in Scotland).

    The helpline guy (Ethan) called me back as promised on 2nd January, listened to what I had to say, and went into bland "no comment" mode, which didn't surprise me: I had started quoting the Sale of Goods Act 1979.

    I am cancelling my contract with 3, and here are my reasons:

    1. Three has advertised a 14-day cooling off period: I am still within that period, even without allowing for 4 non-working days.

    - When I pointed this out to the shop manager, she claimed that 3 no longer offered the 14-day cooling-off period, and had not since 7th December. However, the 14-day cooling-off period was mentioned on the publicly posted terms and conditions that I read while waiting to buy the phone - on a piece of paper tacked to the wall beside the desk at which I sat. The current T&C were given to me in the sealed box containing the phone, which was not unsealed in the shop.

    2. I have owned this phone now for 14 days: during that time, due to various issues, problems, faulty equipment, etc, I have not been able to use it to call anyone or for anyone to call me. I have made no use of the 3 network. I have attempted to return the phone twice during the past 14 days and been denied.

    3. The phone as sold is faulty. Both the 3 helpline and a member of staff in the 3 shop, when I described how it was reacting when on a charger or when I tried to call a number from it, agreed that it was not working correctly. I am, according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and considerable other legislation and regulation since, entitled to get a replacement or a full refund. I originally asked for a replacement; a member of staff refused on this on 31st December, claiming the manager's authority, and the shop manager refused this directly on 3rd January. I am therefore returning the phone for a refund - or rather, with a cancellation of the network contract, since the phone was supplied free for use with the 3 network.

    I am deeply unhappy with the shop manager's behaviour throughout this, which has cost me considerable time. I work freelance as a computer consultant and technical writer, and time is money for me. I enclose an invoice for the hours logged.

    I am concerned at the insistence by the Princes Street 3 shop manager that 3's company policy is to require customers who have been sold faulty phones and equipment to send them away for repair, not to allow them a like-for-like replacement. If this is a true description of 3's company policy, it means that 3 is in violation of the contract between seller and buyer, controlled by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (amended by the Sale & Supply of Goods Act 1994 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002). If this is not a true description of 3's company policy, the shop manager is lying to customers. Neither is a good state of affairs. I would appreciate a clear response from 3 what their company policy is, and what action they will take if the shop manager has been wrongly describing their company policy to customers.

    An earlier draft of this letter was handed to the manager in the 3 shop on 3rd January, when I made my second unsuccessful attempt to return the mobile phone at the shop where I had bought it. Failing to get a satisfactory response, I felt the only solution remaining to me was to post the phone with its original packaging and associated equipment back to 3's mailing address.

    Yours sincerely,

    [Jesurgislac]


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder Paraiceire Novitiate

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    Default Re: Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    Hey,
    I'm having issues with a faulty mobile. I'll keep this short as it won’t all fit in the space available.
    I am a Three customer and have been for nearly 2 years. I was due an upgrade in March 2010 and I got a Nokia 6300 (I'll call this Phone 1) from the Three store (Princes St. Edinburgh) when I signed another 18 month contract.
    Phone 1 had faulty skype so I got it replaced with a Sony Ericsson c903 (Phone 2) a few weeks later.
    After a few weeks, Phone 2 had memory issues and got replace with another Sony Ericsson c903 (Phone 3).
    Phone 3 had the same memory issues, sent away for first repair (1). Memory issues sorted but 2 weeks later another problem, locked out of phone contacts. Phone 3 sent for second repair (2).
    I got phone 3 back from second repair and the same problem on the phone again. Back into the Three store to send Phone 3 away for third repair (3).
    Went to collect Phone 3 today (24/7/10) to be first told they had 'lost it' but had replaced it with new Sony Ericsson c903 (Phone 4). At first I refused to take it saying I wanted a different phone, to be told by manager that it isn't their problem, I've a contract with them for airtime and it’s up to the manufacturer for the phone. Also the manager told me Sony should have pulled that phone long ago as it was faulty. What are my options now?
    I'm on Phone 4 and was told today if I have another problem I've to send it away three times for repair before replacement (probable another c903).
    Three supplied me with 3 faulty phones so far and have given me another phone that the manger admits is faulty, yet he says he can’t replace it with another brand even though he did in April (swapping phone 1 Nokia for phone 2 Sony Ericsson).
    Please advise me on what rights I have regarding getting a new phone (not a c903) from them? and are they in breach of contract by supplying faulty goods and even admitting it!?

    Thanks for reading my post,
    Paraic


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Jesurgislac Novitiate

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    Default Re: Three sells faulty phone, refuses to exchange

    You have a right under the 1979 Act I mentioned in my post to be supplied with working goods or with a full refund or with a working replacement.

    I eventually got Three to admit I was in the right, by writing letters a lot - to their CEO and their PR director, plus their big multi-corporate CEO in Hong Kong (I looked up their company structure on Wikipedia). I listed all the people I was writing letters to at the end of each letter.

    It took three months and 17 letters, but they eventually cancelled my contract with them. (I had to mail the non-working phone back to them, recorded delivery, twice, and refuse acceptance of it the third time they tried to post it to me.)

    I can only advise you to be stubborn and to make sure Three, not you, keeps possession of the faulty phone you do not want.



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