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expensive headphones with design fault but no replacement offered

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I bought a pair of expensive reputable headphones from a high street store that also operate as an online retailer with good reviews. I purchased directly from the physical store as it was easier.


In less than a year the headband formed cracks from normal use on the left and right ends. The manner which they appeared flagged a design fault or a material defect. I took pictures of the cracks, eventually one side snapped. The headphones are not usable, so not fit for purpose.


I went to the store with the entire box, headphones and purchase receipt and asked for a replacement. The seller invoked 2 year manufacturer warranty and claimed he had to follow the repair/replacement process and send it to the manufacturer. I explained that my approach was merely based on SOGA rights, the product failed and it is not my fault as easily proven hence I wanted a new one.


Because he was cooperating I tried not to make a big fuss and went for the warranty which I now regret. He admitted the damage is not repairable and as soon as they check back with the manufacturer they will replace with a new pair to avoid a delay on my end. I believe they should have given me a new pair and deal with the manufacturer on their end. On the other hand if I refused, it may have looked as they tried to provide a solution but I didn't comply with the process. Still I have to be without my headphones for unknown time...they claimed 6-10 days.


I have in the meantime spotted information online that suggests there are batches with this problem and I plan to use it. I am not keen on the "repair" element, just want a new pair.


I wanted to know if I got things wrong here,


1. would I be within my rights to demand a new pair if not satisfied?


2. shouldn't the seller replace the product? Why retailers persistently disregard the SOGA terms?


3. I have the option to invoke a credit card refund if not happy after all else...

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Repair, repl;ace, refund. If theyre only a couple months old, or you broguht them back within a reasonable timeframe, then yes, they can give a new one. But you have to let the seller repair > replace > refund. But if you can prove its a design fault, and get it from the manufacturer, then the seller will have to deal with it.


Sadly too many retailers like to palm off responsibility. Mainly because a lot of them just dont care.

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The choice of repair/replace/refund is down to the seller I'm afraid, not the purchaser. If the seller wishes to send the item back to their supplier or the manufacturer then they can do that, provided the item is returned within a 'reasonable time', usually accepted as up to 28 days.

If the headphones are not repairable then the seller can do one of the following,

Provide a brand new pair headphones

Provide a refurbished but 'as new' pair of headphones (Unlikely with Headphones, but it is an option in general)

Provide a full refund

Provide a refund but with a deduction for 'enjoyment' based on how long you had them


Sadly you don't have a right to simply demand a brand new replacement pair.

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Thanks for clarifying the seller options. I guess I'll have to be patient. I am not suggesting the seller must always replace the product, but in this instance a high end audio pair has had a failure of the mechanical element that forms its very existence i.e it cannot be used for the purpose or repaired to a sufficient standard to reflect the factory quality. Once they start fiddling with it they would have to reconnect wiring, parts etc it would never be the same again. As I can possibly imagine they would not re-issue a two year warranty on the "repaired" parts (although I wish would have to). So this is simply where I'm coming from, a repair would never re-instate the product to its factory quality and thus it would make it prone to future failures that will not be covered by the warranty eventually. The seller has been cooperative so far, not great with feedback but last time we spoke they said a replacement was due as soon as the manufacturer dispatches a new pair to them...

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They wouldn't re-issue a two year warranty on a replacement either. Any Warranty, and more importantly your rights under the Consumer Rights Act, kick in from the original date you receive the product. Having it replaced does not reset that timer.

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