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  1. Not sure if this is the right sub-forum, but would appreciate some advice regarding the following. My wife and I purchased some lighting from a specialist online/high street retailer a few months ago...which was done as follows. The company sell lights/lamps from various Manufacturers on their website, which are not bespoke in any way (they are not custom made/made to our specification...they are simply lamps/lights like any other customer could buy). After receiving an initial quote from the company via email for some items we were interested in, we changed the items a few times before settling on the final requirement list (but never received a final quote to order from...we were simply emailed an invoice to be used to order). Note all conversations/engagements with the retailer were conducted via email/telephone/their website. We then sent the money via bank transfer to place the order (a total of around £1,800, of which the 2 lamps came to roughly £850)...and had to wait a few weeks whilst the lamps were shipped from the Manufacturers in Italy to the UK retailer...and then shipped on to ourselves. Upon receipt, we didn't like the quality of a couple of the lamps...and contacted the Online shop asking to return the items on the same day they were received. We were advised we had no right to a return, as the lamps had been made especially for us...and it was noted on the first quote we received that they could not be returned once ordered (which I then checked, and it was a small clause at the bottom of the original quote). From speaking to Citizens Advice, they confirmed that as the lamps were not bespoke in any way, that we hadn't provided specifications to which the lamps had to be made...and had essentially bought a product that could simply be ordered by any other customer...that the retailer had to comply with the 14 day returns period. So we started an MCOL Claim against the retailer from that point...and also returned the lamps via Parcelforce (which the retailer confirmed they had received). We are now at the stage were the retailer has launched a defence against our claim, but they have yet to return the DQ form and have had a General Sanctions Order raised against them a week ago (we can enforce judgement in 1 week now if they don't respond). Hopefully all of the above is clear...my question is, have we been correctly advised by Citizens Advice that the 14 days return period is our legal right, or has the retailer covered themselves by adding the 'no returns on this product' note on their original quotation? I have a feeling the retailer is dragging it out as long as possible, and will file the DQ form right before the 2 weeks are up, which will mean a visit to court...so I want to make sure we do have the law on our side before that point!
  2. Hello all, Please accept my apologies if my post is in the wrong place. I don't have a complaint as such, more a general observation that raises a safety issue across multiple vehicle manufacturers and I wanted to hear the thoughts of those on the forum. Over the past few years I've noticed a marked increase in the number of vehicles being driven in poor or dark conditions with no headlights on. Drivers failing to turn on their headlights when conditions dictate they should appears to have risen in line with the greater prevalence of cars on the road fitted with daylight running lights (DRLs). Until recently, both observations remained unconnected in my mind. My father recently took delivery of a new Kia Cee'd (an excellent car should anyone be tempted to look at one) and it's fitted with a DRL system. Suddenly the reason why so many motorists fail to turn on their headlights when conditions dictate they should has become clear - when the DRL system is active, i.e. when the headlights are switched off, the dashboard lights also illuminate! The effect is to remove the most effective visual feedback available to the driver that they haven't turned on their lights. DRL systems that I've encountered so far do one of two things when lights are switched on - they either extinguish completely or they dim. The effect is to remove the safety issue associated with ultra-bright lights dazzling oncoming traffic. Were that to be the only issue I would consider it more of an annoyance than a safety concern, however there's another, much more serious, issue associated with DRLs; they don't illuminate the rear of the car, so, if a driver fails to turn on his lights (easier to do now than ever because the dashboard is always illuminated) the rear of the car is in complete darkness. In these winter months where cars get very dirty very quickly, reflector lenses are rendered almost useless. I believe the issue is two-fold: 1. Illuminating the dashboard lights at all times removes a key visual indicator that a vehicle's headlights are not turned on. 2. DRL systems being fitted now are so large and so bright they illuminate the road surface at night, removing a further visual indicator that headlights are not switched on. Of course I would agree with anyone who said a driver should be in control of their vehicle, aware of the conditions and any actions required to drive safely in those conditions, that's a given, but observation reveals many drivers aren't. With the level of technology fitted to cars these days, even the smallest of cars, it seems like a dangerous oversight to me to allow this kind of situation to occur at all, and one that could be solved easily. I tried contacting RoSPA to ask who best to direct my comments to, however they responded by sending me a list of 'driving in the dark' tips, demonstrating, unfortunately, that they didn't read my email properly in the first place. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not trying to be a one-man-army to resolve what I believe is a serious issue, I'm just trying to highlight it and get others' thoughts. Fraser.
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