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Got a refund via small claims from currys for a computer


Mark Watson
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Apologies if this has been covered before, I had a look but could not see a similar thread.

 

And the reason I wrote the above is because I am imagining this is a familiar complaint. It relates to a desktop computer I bought online from PC World and now wish to return. I am within the required 14 day time limit so I wrote to them asking for a refund. I pointed out that I had switched the machine on to test it and they then pointed me to their Ts and Cs which say that by doing that I could not now return the machine.

 

I wasn't quite so certain they were correct about their right to refuse me a refund on that basis and I cited the fact that I was within my rights to test the computer at home in the same way as I would test one in a shop and that I would have tested a similar model on display before I bought it.

 

No, they said (repeatedly) although they repeatedly failed to address my central point about doing the same as if I was in the store. I also pointed out that they had no right to absolutely refuse me a refund as they should, at the least, refund me my money less any drop in value by having tested it. Again they weren't having that.

 

So we are at stalemate - but who is right? I'd be interested in any views as I intend to keep pushing this one with them!

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Unwanted products - read more

 

An unwanted product can be returned within 21 days of delivery as long as it's still in original, unopened packaging.

 

Returns and exchanges can only be processed with proof of purchase. This can be the sales receipt, a bank statement or an online sales invoice.

 

You cannot return unwanted items after 21 days of purchase, nor can you return items that have been used.

 

In accordance with your rights when you purchase goods online, unwanted products can be returned open so long as you let us know you want to return them within 14 calendar days from the day after delivery. They must include all original packaging, be in ‘as new’ condition and must not have been used, installed or had any data input on them.

 

Items delivered direct from the Manufacturer cannot be returned to one of our stores.

 

http://www.pcworld.co.uk/gbuk/returns-cancellations-878-theme.html

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Yes andyorch that is what their T and C's says, but what I am saying to them is that the Consumer Contract Regulations does not support that. The regulations say you can test a good as you would in a shop and I would have tested a similar model on display before I bought it. switching it on and doing that is therefore, I maintain, perfectly acceptable handling and they should give me a full refund.

 

But even if they won't refund in full, an outright refusal also seems not to be the treatment I should get within the law. There is nothing that says that they can legitimately refuse me a refund, albeit they may be allowed to deduct a sum to return the computer to its original condition by resetting it.

 

Am I right though - does anyone think different?

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I wonder if the Durkin judgement may have some impact here. Richard bought a laptop on the promise it had a modem built in (but it didn't) so he had opened it, tested it, found to be unsuitable and tried to take it back.

 

While his case is mainly about credit, DSG Retail were involved

 

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2014/mar/26/supreme-court-victory-hsbc-pc-world

 

Just another angle to look at.

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That is v useful and interesting silverfox1961, thank you very much. It seems from that that PC World agreed to refund him despite him switching the laptop on, however they did do so "without admitting liability". I guess the main other difference is that he bought it in store and before the regulations changed about your rights buying online. In that way it isn't really definitive, interesting though it is.

 

I wonder if anyone has ever tried to claim a refund for a computer from PC World having switched it on? It seems pretty clear to me that they have no legal right to refuse me!

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I'm fairly certain that, because you bought it online, the law says you are able to return it within 14 days. As you say, this would include if you had turned it on as this is the only opportunity to test it as you would in store.

 

http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations

Your right to a refund

You should get a refund within 14 days of either the trader getting the goods back, or you providing evidence of having returned the goods (for example, a proof of postage receipt from the post office), whichever is the sooner.

A deduction can be made if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of you handling the goods more than was necessary.

The extent to which a customer can handle the goods is the same as it would be if you were assessing them in a shop.

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  • 4 months later...

If you have ever been bought a computer online and been refused a refund by PC World/Currys because you "switched it on" then I have good news for you - you can get that refund and the company has no right to refuse it.

 

Anyone who buys anything online has a 14 days cooling off period, within which they can return a product and get a refund; that is the law. PC World/Currys however do not like to recognise this right when it comes to computers. They maintain that if you "use" a computer (ie switch it on) then you immediately invalidate your right to a refund and will refuse all refund requests from their customers.. They are not legally entitled to do this however!

 

I bought a computer online from Currys, switched it on and tested it. I then decided it was not right for me (too slow). I contacted the company and asked for a refund, however that was refused - seven times. I then took out a small claims court case - and hey presto, the company fell over itself to settle that case and pay the £25 costs it had incurred me.

 

The reason they settled is because they knew that they could not win the case as I clearly had the law on my side. They however have not changed their terms and conditions which contains this clause about not giving refunds if a computer is "used", clearly hoping they can get away with not refunding people unless they go to the bother of taking legal action.

 

If you are having this problem with this company then please post here and I will tell you how to get your money back. This disreputable company should not be allowed to get away with depriving you of your legal rights in this way and I would be only too happy to help ensure they don't!

 

Any questions, please ask away. I will check this regularly and give further details if required.

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nice to see it went as it should have done.

 

 

the new consumer rights act has kicked in now too

 

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Currys/PC World should be hauled over the coals for this. They are ignoring the rules that are there to protect customers.

 

The thing is, IF they thought there actions were correct, why did they settle? If they thought they were right and allowed the case to go to court, the judge would have looked at all the evidence and made a decision and even if they lost the case, they had 28 days to pay up before a judgement appeared on any business credit file.

 

Methinks an email to the CEO is in order to get his/her opinion.

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I could not agree more silverfox1961. Any idea what his email address might be?

 

post 2 above :-)

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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If you have ever been bought a computer online and been refused a refund by PC World/Currys because you "switched it on" then I have good news for you - you can get that refund and the company has no right to refuse it.

 

Anyone who buys anything online has a 14 days cooling off period, within which they can return a product and get a refund; that is the law. PC World/Currys however do not like to recognise this right when it comes to computers. They maintain that if you "use" a computer (ie switch it on) then you immediately invalidate your right to a refund and will refuse all refund requests from their customers.. They are not legally entitled to do this however!

 

I bought a computer online from Currys, switched it on and tested it. I then decided it was not right for me (too slow). I contacted the company and asked for a refund, however that was refused - seven times. I then took out a small claims court case - and hey presto, the company fell over itself to settle that case and pay the £25 costs it had incurred me.

 

The reason they settled is because they knew that they could not win the case as I clearly had the law on my side. They however have not changed their terms and conditions which contains this clause about not giving refunds if a computer is "used", clearly hoping they can get away with not refunding people unless they go to the bother of taking legal action.

 

If you are having this problem with this company then please post here and I will tell you how to get your money back. This disreputable company should not be allowed to get away with depriving you of your legal rights in this way and I would be only too happy to help ensure they don't!

 

Any questions, please ask away. I will check this regularly and give further details if required.

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Hi Mark

 

Thank you for sharing your story, it would help other users more if you could explain the process you went through so others know what to expect.

 

Kind Regards

 

SS

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Sure SS, no problem.

 

I bought a computer online from Currys and took it home and tested it. I found it was too slow for my needs so I emailed the Customer Services department and asked for my money back. They however said I could not have my money back as I had switched the machine on.

 

This did not seem right to me as I did not think that would render me unable to assert my rights under the Consumer Contracts regulations which say that a customer who makes an online purchase has a 14 day cooling off period (which I was in). Testing the computer was surely only what one would expect to be able to do if one was trying out a model on display in a shop?

 

Currys would not even enter into any discussion on that point however. These are the many responses I received when I askesd them if they would address my request with reference to those regulations:

 

"I understand that you would like to see how the pc functions. However, we cannot take a product back once it has been used"

 

"As the unit has been used, we are unable to offer a return and refund to you. Our policy states that the item must not be switched on or used in order to request a return"

 

"Whilst I understand that you turned the unit on to test it, I regret that the unit is still classed as used. With this in mind, we would be unable to bypass our terms and conditions.

 

"I am sorry for any inconvenience this might have caused. I have spoken to my Manager in regards to the issue that you have raised and as advise we are unable to offer a exchange or refund as the product has been used"

 

"I can only reiterate what my colleagues have all previously advised, we would not be able to accept the item back, as it has been opened and used. I can confirm to you that any future emails of your will be read but may not be responded to"

 

"As you have noted in your original email you have used the product. On this occasion as the product has been used we are unable to accept a return of the item"

 

"I appreciate you are not happy with the outcome received. We are not trained to answer Legal queries so if you want to discuss this further with our Legal team your legal representative should write to them"

 

Frustrating!

 

It seems that they would only address the issue according to their own terms and conditions, and would not enter into any debate which involved my actual rights under the law.

 

So I had no option but to take out a Moneyclaim online claim, to get a judge to order them to refund me. And lo and behold - within a week I received a letter from their legal department offering me a full refund, plus the £25 costs I had incurred by making the claim.

 

The outstanding issue however is that this offer was made "without prejudice" - they were not admitting that I had a right to a refund, only repaying me on a non blame basis.

 

So where does that leave people in a similar situation? The company has not changed its terms and conditions and, as a result, will continue to refuse to refund customers in a similar situation to me, probably hoping that they will not take it all the way to legal action (and buying off the very few who do).

 

That seems wrong to me - particularly as the law is so clear and specific, and that they must absolutely know they are not adhering to it. As a result I want to make sure that this information is out there so that anyone who is in this situation knows that they are legally due a refund and they can get it if they want it.

 

Hope that helps. If anyone knows any way I can get this message out to a wider audience, please do let me know. And if there are any consumer journalists reading this, do feel free to contact me and I will give you all the details!

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Fantastic thanks for that.

 

All to often big companies now regard their customers as idiots and apathetic and will sometimes deny rights via their t+Cs as the General Public do not normally challenge them in a court. Doing as you have done is the way forward.

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The SabreSheep, All information is offered on good faith and based on mine and others experiences. I am not a qualified legal professional and you should always seek legal advice if you are unsure of your position.

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Yes, I absolutely agree.

 

The only problem is that the company will sail on regardless (literally) and carry on doing the same thing to everyone else! Hopefully a few people will read this, having googled the issue - as many as possible I hope and then maybe it will start to get sufficiently painful for the company that they will do something about it. I shan't be relying on them changing the way they behave simply because they know that would be the right thing to do though!

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  • 1 month later...

Well done.

Currys do not seem to be very customer-facing and it is assertive action like yours which makes a difference and which encourages others.

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  • 3 months later...
It seems that they would only address the issue according to their own terms and conditions, and would not enter into any debate which involved my actual rights under the law.

 

So I had no option but to take out a Moneyclaim online claim, to get a judge to order them to refund me. And lo and behold - within a week I received a letter from their legal department offering me a full refund, plus the £25 costs I had incurred by making the claim.

 

Good result. Often people spend too much time arguing in circles with retail workers who can only apply company rules. Once they've said no a few times, in writing, go directly to a Letter Before Action and then commence the MCOL. It will automatically go to their legal department, and if it's a fair grievance they will automatically say "we'll lose, pay it".

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Good result. Often people spend too much time arguing in circles with retail workers who can only apply company rules. Once they've said no a few times, in writing, go directly to a Letter Before Action and then commence the MCOL. It will automatically go to their legal department, and if it's a fair grievance they will automatically say "we'll lose, pay it".

 

 

Thanks, and yes I agree, it seems that is the only thing that Currys/PC World understand. I got seven separate replies to my emails asking them, begging them, to at least look at their practices against the requirements of the regulations and seven times they simply refused to take a blind bit of notice. Blanket refusals to engage until I put in an online claims. Then they couldn't fall over themselves fast enough to settle . I didn't let them do that before really putting them through the ringer so that they knew what it was like to receive obdurate, unhelpful replies.

 

This company (PC World/Currys) is woefully inadequate when it comes to real customer service, more than happy to continue to break the regulations which they are subject to and to do so without the slightest thought.

 

They need to change their behaviour - fast, before they get a public and embarrassing rinsing for this behaviour.

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I was travelling home the other night and this came on the radio

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06zv3xf

 

Nothing special you may think until you see who the guests were

 

Spokesmen for Ryanair, Scottish Power and Dixons/Carphone. The subject? Customer service!

 

I nearly crashed

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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