I bought an Asus Google Nexus 7 from Ebuyer last August (2012) and it broke. First of all the charging cable ceased working, but that wasn't a huge problem as I had quite a few more. Then I realised the reason it had stopped working was that the micro usb port was actually faulty (it proceeded to break a number of my other charging cables). I had an engineer look at it for me and he said you can clearly see the port is broken and if it was under warranty, to return it. The part itself is around £25 retail and I could probably replace it myself. However, if I did it would void the warranty and also, why should I when that's exactly what the warranty is for?
At the beginning of July, I reported the issue to Ebuyer who told me, 'don't worry, we'll simply replace the whole device with a brand new one'. I told them I didn't want a brand new one as I didn't want to have to go through removing and restoring all my data. However, they insisted. I hung up the phone and began wiping my data and packaging it up whilst waiting for my return instructions to arrive by email. Instead of return instructions, I received an email to say the return had been refused.
I called back and was advised it had been refused because I 'hadn't bothered' to contact Asus first to diagnose whether the item needed repairing or replacing. Had I been told to do this, I would have done so but nobody had informed me of any such requirement. Ebuyer created another return then gave me an Asus number to call to get a reference number confirming Ebuyer needed to take action.
I called Ebuyer back and gave them the reference number and then got my return on its way.
Around a week or two later, I received the device back, still broken. I was told by Ebuyer that they had found 'nothing wrong' with it and that I was lucky they hadn't charged me for the return process!
I then made a complaint, by email this time, thinking that if I put it into writing, they might actually take more action. How wrong I was. I was told to I had to return it again, this time including the plug and original charging cable (which I can't find because I had stopped using it months before when it broke). I replied to advise this and was ignored by Ebuyer. They continued to ignore my emails until, last week, I'd had enough and moaned about it on Twitter. The person who then replied to my email said 'I'm sorry, I've had problems with my sent emails not arriving'!
We went back and forth through a number of other emails until they advised today that unless I can find the original charging cable, they will not accept a return of the device and will not under any circumstance consider returning it.
Now, what I'd like to know is:
Can they refuse to repair the device because I am unable to find the cable (which is not the part I'm asking them to repair)?
Are they still obliged to repair/replace the device even though the warranty has now expired (based on the fact I complained when it was still under warranty)?
What action can I take on this?
Thanks in advance.