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Laptops Direct and postage on faulty return

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Howdy.

 

On the 14th August, I bought a laptop from Laptops Direct / Buy It Direct / Easy IT

 

It was dispatched on the 15th, received the 17th. It was for my sister and it came back to me a week later with a faulty touchpad. The laptop has since failed completely and now refuses to even power on.

 

I contacted them saying please arrange for a collection and refund as this was a one off stock item. Laptops direct are refusing to arrange a collection saying that they don't have to collect it as more than 7 days had passed.

 

From my reading, if I had returned the item under the distance selling regulations cooling off period and if covered in their terms and conditions then they are entitled to do this.

 

As this is a faulty item over 7 days, it is covered by the sale of goods act. Under this act a buyer is only required to make the goods available for collection or the seller is required to refund any costs that the buyer incurs.

 

The sale of goods act does allow for limitation of the costs of return to a seller if speficied in the terms of sale, however the terms are specified in the footer of the website. No limitations are placed in these terms and section 2 of the terms specifically excludes any other documents from being included as part of the terms. Thus when ordering one would be expected to be held to these terms right?

 

Well Laptops Direct have come up with a different link. You can get to this by going to Customer Service -> Faulty Items -> Scroll right to the bottom and follow the link "Click here for the returns process for faulty goods."

 

This does state "In most cases, items over 7 days old will need to be returned to us and collections will not be arranged." however it does not mention any liability for costs and was not presented at the time of sale. Coupled with being excluded by section 2 of the T&Cs it seems to me like Laptops Direct should be liable for the costs.

 

I wouldn't complain but being a laptop it needs insurance which doesn't make it cheap and I object to being charged for faulty goods!

 

I paid via PayPal and opened a dispute but they haven't really read the case and just said send it back and I can't add any more comments!

 

Am I reading this right? Once I've sent it back I can't see anyone making it easy to get the cost of postage back but its the principle of the thing :)

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I have been having an ongoing battle with Iview Cameras who are also part of the 'Buy It Direct' group. I have a faulty DVR that I bought from them, and I encoutered the same problem when trying to return it. They refused point blank to collect it, or to pay postage. I rang Consumer Direct who were about as much use as a chocolate teapot :| They advised me to post it back at my expense, and then claim the postage back after :tsk:

I asked them what is the point of The sale of goods act ? and they said that you can only enforce it at a Court if the retailer refuses to play ball.

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Well to give you an update on my issue, I ended up paying 13 quid to send it back and despite Laptops Direct issuing an acknowledgement that the item was received and tested faulty PayPal decided to let them off and closed the issue without doing anything.

 

Laptops Direct then took this as though they did not have to issue any refund and sent me out a replacement laptop, but by now we are a month and a half further on and had to buy a different laptop as it was for my sister and she was back off to the other end of the country. As it happens, we got a brand new identical laptop for pretty much the same price.

 

Laptops Direct also normally send out the tracking information when they ship an item. With this replacement, they waited until the laptop had been delivered (to a house on the opposite side of the street several doors away) until they issued the shipping information. Had they issued the shipping information when the item was shipped I would have phone the company (Parcelforce) and told them not to waste time bringing it out. Unfortunately it was delivered and I, despite being rather ill had to drive half an hour to the depot to have it returned to sender. Still, rather that than give them any opportunity to claim that I had a replacement.

 

At first, Laptops Direct stated "We are unable to offer you a refund as it has been over 7 days"

When I queried this they said " Our terms and conditions do state that you do not offer a refund if the item is over 7 days old. As the item is less than 28 days old we would replace or repair but no refund would be offered."

 

When I then pointed out to them that their terms and conditions stated no such thing, they dropped all reference to the "over 7 days" which they were clearly making up. I tried to get them to clarify that they were dropping this claim but they just kept repeating the 28 days line before refusing to discuss the matter any further.

 

I then also noticed that they had over charged me for the warranty on the laptop. I was originally issued an invoice for £378.46 however quickly noticed that this had an error. They issued a replacement invoice for £368.37 but I was still charged £378.46. Laptops Direct completely ignored me when I raised this query and did not even comment on it.

 

In the end I had to put together all the information including PayPal's original agreement that the laptop should be returned for a refund and then PayPal's sudden change of heart. Thankfully, when using PayPal I always elect to use the credit card (a Tesco Mastercard) so I forwarded it all to Tesco and less than two weeks later I have a refund.

 

So overall I am down £13.03 to ship the first laptop back and the fuel for an hour's round trip to the Parcelforce depot. Laptops Direct are down the postage of the replacement laptop. Chances of getting my postage back without spending a lot of time and money? Nil. I'm sure that's what these companies rely on and if I had the spare cash I'd love to take someone to court and have them end up having to pay solicitors fees too. Might make them think twice about it but with a mortgage on the way I need my money!

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