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Ramsbottom Bang and Olufsen – not honouring cooling off period**Refund in Full***

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Hi, I wonder if some can help. I am posting this on behalf of our elderly neighbours 1 is 92 and the other is 85 (wife).

 

The elderly man has been in hospital twice for operations on his eye and has ben looking for a TV that better audio quality than he has before.

He spoke a salesman on the phone who came out to his house and demonstrated a TV but he would not leave the demo set with overnight.

My neighbour paid a deposit of £320 to order a Bang & Olufsen TV and a blu-ray player at a total cost of £3,200.

 

The TV arrived some 10 days later and was setup on 5th April 2018, he paid the remaining balance on the 5th April by cheque

.He had only had the set for one night and was unhappy with the sound.

 

He told me he wanted to return it so I said I would help, I was advised by the citizens advice consumer help line to quote my cooling off period of 14 days to return the product and claim a full refund.

 

I sent this email off last week and was told that the customer had signed a terms of trade document stating he would not be able to claim a refund and as such they will not take back the television.

 

He sent me a scan of the document but I cannot read it because the picture is too small , I have today sent an email requesting they send by post a copy of this document as I don't want to stress my elderly neighbour anymore than I need to.

 

Can anyone help with where I stand?

I did send the intention to return goods email and had confirmation it was received and understood I was told the director makes decisions on refunds at his own discretion he said no refund would be given.

 

I feel a little out of my depth with this as I thought I was doing a good deed but don't know who else to ask apart from a solicitor maybe and they aren't cheap

 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated

 

 

thanks

 

 

Andy

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I'm not aware of any provision which allows a statutory cooling off right to be overridden by some contractual term.

 

Which company are you dealing with please?


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Its a company in Ramsbottom that supplies Bang and Olufsen audio video products not really sure I was supposed to give their full name

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Are these the ones http://stores.bang-olufsen.com/great-britain/bang-olufsen-of-ramsbottom/ ?

 

It's a bit strange, they don't seem to have their own website. It may actually be a franchise or something of Bang and Olufsen. I'm not sure how they structure their business.

 

It would be very helpful to see the letter they sent and the terms which they say were signed


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as soon as I receive a copy of the letter they signed I will scan it and post it , before the refusal to refund was sent I was also told and I quote

 

 

"Hi Andrew,

 

 

I am in receipt of your e mail.

 

 

As per our conversation this is not my decision ,and I want to point out I discussed before Mr and Mrs P ordered the television our full terms and conditions and that they should think about it before deciding , but Mr P was adamant he was happy with his choice and in his words he wanted to get a really nice television for his wife to watch.

 

 

This was not done blind by the way ,I took the television he was interested in to him home plugged it in and let them both view it and operate it so not really much more I could do.

 

 

Mrs P also signed a form showing our terms and conditions which she signed , and it clearly states on there that products are non refundable , however this is at the discretion of the management Ie Mr Paul B , if Mr B does decide to allow a refund there will be an administration charge of 15% of the total order which equates to £480.00.

 

 

As per our conversation Mr B is in America until next week , and so I have copied in him on this e mail and I am sure he will respond in kind to your email

 

 

Many thanks

Edited by honeybee13
Names removed

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Yes please. We would like to see the document in some form or other. If you have it in the picture format then maybe you could upload that anyway and it will give a start. I have a feeling that you may have difficulty getting them to send you a better copy.

 

As far as I can gather, all Bang and Olufsen outlets are franchises. The bang and Olufsen head office is in Denmark but there is an office in the UK as well. They seem to have no particular social media presence that I can find.

 

However, there is a feedback/complaints form https://www.beoworld.org/contact.asp and I suggest that you contact them and tell them that one of their franchises is not honouring a customers consumer rights and in particular that customer is extremely elderly and vulnerable.

 

Tell them that if they won't advise the franchise to honour the customer's rights that you will be acting on behalf of the elderly gentleman to bring a small claim in the County Court which will involve both the franchise and also the bang and Olufsen head office in UK.

 

Also, I would write a very firm letter to the Ramsbottom franchise and point out to them that they are in breach of their statutory obligations, that the customer is extremely elderly and vulnerable and there conduct towards him is now being aired on social media.

 

Are you happy to do this? I can imagine that once there is some pressure from the head office as well as direct pressure on the franchise and they realise that their reputation is at stake, that they may start to have a look at what they are doing.

 

I don't think you should let this get cold. I think you should act quickly and certainly when you get any messages such as the one you have posted above, you should respond immediately and assertively.


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I forgot to point out that the cooling off period is contained in the The Consumer Contracts Regulations.

 

They are required to give you a full refund and only that they are responsible for the costs of collecting the item. The attempt to levy any kind of administration charge is unlawful.

 

I have already explained that this is sassy obligation upon the retailer and even though they may have obtained a signature against document which says that the money is non-refundable, this is unenforceable and in fact it amounts to an unfair contract term as well as being an unfair commercial practice. In so far as it is an unfair commercial practice it is actually an offence.


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B&O will NOT be very happy with this when they get to here about it


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Yup. That's what I figured as well.

 

It makes me wonder how many other vulnerable old people they have done this to?

 

Also in response to a point you made in your opening post, this is very straightforward and you won't need a solicitor and we will be happy to help you.


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Something that tries to limit your legal rights may be deemed as unfair under the Consumer Rights Act.

 

Traders that visit a consumer in their home and leave a quotation (or send one to them later), allowing them to decide and enter into a contract when they are ready to do so, will be entering into an 'on-premises contract'. This is because this transaction does not fall within the definition of an 'off-premises contract' unless the consumer agrees to the contract immediately after the trader has left their home, nor is it a 'distance contract'.

 

If the Retailer does not provide consumers with information about their right to cancel their cancellation period is extended to 14 days, starting the day after the day that the retailer give them this information. The longest that this period can be extended to is 12 months from the day after the normal cancellation period would have ended.

 

A consumer can withdraw from the contract, or cancel within the cancellation period, by informing the Retailer that they wish to do so. There is no requirement for how this should be done but in the event of a dispute the burden falls upon the consumer to prove that they did cancel within the cancellation period. Therefore the consumer will be well advised to ensure that they have some durable proof of their cancellation, which you could ask for if there was a dispute regarding whether or when they had informed you of their decision to cancel.

 

Andy


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This is a bit convoluted but do I understand that you are saying that there are circumstances in which even though the contract is made as a result of a visit to the customer's home, it can still be treated as an "on premises" contract – as if it was made on the retailers premises?

 

I'm try to get my head round it but in that case you may be saying that the circumstances don't warrant a cooling off period. Is that right?


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Embassy if you could clarify.....

 

"He spoke a salesman on the phone who came out to his house and demonstrated a TV but he would not leave the demo set with overnight.

My neighbour paid a deposit of £320 to order a Bang & Olufsen TV and a blu-ray player at a total cost of £3,200."

 

What exactly happend here and how did he confirm the order....telephone ? Or just sent a cheque or visited the store ?

 

This is important with regards to the cooling off period and distance selling legislation

 

Andy


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thank you for all your replies i am in the process of trying to get a copy of this document i have sent a further email to them this morning requesting confirmation they have received my email and will follow this up with a phone call i asked for a delivery receipt and read receipt but i know they can decide not to send a read receipt.

I will attach the scan they sent me to this post.

I did also speak to my neighbour last night and he has told me has no copy of the document (but he is old and easily confused) so he may have just misplaced it.

 

to clarify

 

@ Andyorch

As i understand the salesman bought a demo model out and after watching it whilst the salesman was here my neighbour agreed in person to order the TV and gave the salesman a deposit of £320 he is mostly immobile.

Also just to add and it may be a useless point but he never saw any packaging the salesman bought the TV in and just put it on his TV unit.

 

If anyone has any other questions i will try to help not having much luck with this image though i will try up my post limit and try again

 

Andy

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Have just had another email from the director as a follow up to the request i sent this morning and also asked them to confirm receipt of each email for audit if needed

 

From email

"Hi Andy,

 

Mrs P did read the terms and conditions when Russ presented them. Russ went through the Terms of Trade verbally

with Mrs P and Mr P was also present. Russ did ask if they were happy with the Terms of Trade and both Mr & Mrs Pollitt were both very happy and happy to sign.

 

Prior to the purchase Russ brought a T.V to the house and demonstrated it. He also checked that they were happy with everything before taking the deposit and providing with the purchase.

The T.V was then specially ordered specifically for the customer (Mr & Mrs P).

 

 

I have sent Mr P a copy of the Terms of Trade in the post this morning.

Please confirm once received.

 

I/ We look forward to hearing back from you ."

 

 

 

 

as soon as i can get the terms of trade document i will scan it and hopefully i will have enough posts by then to enable me to upload it

 

Andy

Edited by honeybee13
Names removed

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I think that we by and large understand the situation now and I think you probably do as well and you understand the rights in the matter – which is that the contract was agreed on the first visit when the television was demonstrated and a £320 deposit was taken.

 

On this basis there is a cooling off period and it seems that Ramsbottom Bang and Olufsen are not prepared to honour it.

 

I think you now need to consider what action you are prepared to take. Have you telephoned the Bang and Olufsen head office? The problem here is that you are very kindly acting on behalf of an elderly neighbour and if a court action was brought, assuming that it went to trial, it would be your elderly neighbour who would have to go to court at least to put in an appearance – even if you did the talking on their behalf. This might be quite difficult on the basis of what you have told us about him.

 

I suppose the second thing is that you could get a power of attorney – if such a thing is possible for a litigant in person. However it may not be.

 

I think that if you issue the papers, the chances of this going to trial are almost negligible – but you never know. I think you need to start thinking of your plan of action because frankly I should be surprised if the document you have asked for is sent to you and secondly, even if you try to show Ramsbottom Bang and Olufsen that they are in the wrong so far as cooling off periods concerned it seems to me that they are not prepared to listen. It's a shame to see this kind of thing with such a reputable Marque. This is the kind of thing we expect from Currys/PC World – and we are seldom disappointed.

 

I think you need to plan for the worst – and plan


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Yes you're right. Extremely difficult to read.

 

I hope you won't mind but I've taken the initiative of contacting somebody in the Bang and Olufsen group in Denmark. It's not actually his role to deal with this but he seemed very concerned and without making any promises at all he asked me to forward him the details and he will make sure that it looked at. He confirmed to me that the rules relating to cooling off periods are exactly the same in Denmark as they are in the UK.

 

Would you mind contacting me on our admin email address and letting me have full details please of the customer, address, telephone number – your telephone number as well please as an intermediary and also if there is any kind of contract or agreement reference number that would be handy as well. Any other details as to the agreement such as date and the name of the person who co-signed it blah blah – I'm sure you get the picture.

 

I have the telephone number an email of the person in Denmark and as soon as I have these details then I will forward them to him and hopefully it will be looked at carefully and some appropriate action will be taken. I have to say that there is no guarantee that it will be the outcome we are all looking for – but whatever it is, at least you know that someone other than the store owner is now involved. I'm quite sure that Bang and Olufsen want the same level of customer service reputation as they have for their products.

 

Maybe you can keep us updated as to progress please .


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i was going to say do that BF

 

I cant tell you why here but I know they will be extremely annoyed one of their franchise sellers are acting like this.


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Yes I agree. I think companies are very often concerned about the way their franchises affect their reputation. They have less control over a franchise and so they move very quickly if there is a quality issue and I expect that there are all sorts of measures they can take against a franchise which they feel is letting them down.


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Well this is very promising: –

 

Karon Braithwaite - Director

Karon has a wealth of experience after many years in the retail industry and is passionate about sales and customer service combined with a flare for interior design. Karon is looking forward to sharing her experience in creating perfect solutions. karon.ramsbottom@bang-olufsen.co.uk

http://stores.bang-olufsen.com/great-britain/bang-olufsen-of-ramsbottom/

 

It looks as if Karon will have an opportunity to show us just how passionate she is about customer service – as opposed to sales. In this case, there could be a conflict of interest – customer service v sales. I wonder which will win??


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BF, a power of attorney can be signed specifically for this task. that is what the consumer rights journalists do to get their teeth into their cases.

 

Andyorch makes the point that the cooling off period ONLY STARTS when the retailer makes the terms available in writing and if they still fail to do this then the customer has a year to claim their rights under that 14 day period.

 

Now, as the retailer left documents with Mr P then the 14 days start the day after that so all well within time.

No such thing as a restocking fee for consumer contracts,

these people really dont understand their obligations and that will untimately be the problem sorting this out, not arguments about those rights.

 

I'm not sure involving B&O will get anywhere, the shop may well be removed from the approved stockists lists but ultimately not down to them to do anything to intervene with an individual complaint.

For that reason I suggest that the OP should stick to the retailer's obligations.

Edited by dx100uk
specing

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Of course I agree in principle but here we are dealing with a 92-year-old man who very understandably may be unwilling to get into conflict with the company, who may not understand the law, and wouldn't want or be able to start dealing with a court process and the associated pressures.

 

If this matter can be dealt with by intervention from the Denmark head office then that is the way forward. As it happens I have now forwarded all the information that I have including the name of the customer to the head office at Denmark and I hope that the senior person I have communicated with will be having a look and they will be asking questions from Karon Braithwaite and also Russ Chew who I believe is the person who visited the customer and made the sale.

 

I have to say, that we haven't heard the other side of the matter and there may be some aspect that we haven't understood. However, even if it turns out that for some reason or other the cooling off period does not apply, then I would hope that any decent and reputable company would not want to put a 92-year-old man and his 82 year old wife in this kind of position. I have a sense that not even Currys or PC World would do this.


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Hi my apologies for not getting back i'm having a very busy time at home and work I am yet to receive any terms of trade document from the Supplier but i have a picture of the bill of sale i promise that as soon as i receive them i will forward them on as requested i didnt want to send bits and pieces and preferred to send them altogether .However if you wish me to send the receipt then of course i shall.

I will ring the shop this morning and ask again for the terms of trade but my car is off the road at present and am having troubles getting anywhere.

 

Thank you for all the comments and advice it really is very much appreciated

 

 

Andy

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Just to update you i rang the shop and advised them them we hadn't received a copy of the terms and trade and told them the neighbour had been given a copy , i was assured they would have been given a copy of this They are going try and scan and send and also post again a copy.

 

I also received this back from B&O via my email i sent on wednesday

 

"Response By Email (Lene Walther Bjerregaard) (20/04/2018 01.35 PM)

Dear Andy ,

 

Thank you for your e-mail written on behalf your neighbour who has regretted purchase of a Bang & Olufsen television from Bang & Olufsen of Ramsbottom.

 

We do agree that it is a rather unfortunate situation, but as we, Bang & Olufsen as a manufacturer, sell products to independent retailers, any purchase is solely an agreement between store and customer and thus subject to the terms & conditions of the store. We therefore regret to inform that we shall not be able to help your neighbour in this matter, but instead kindly advise him to settle the matter with the store in question. We have of course made the store aware of your neighbour's complaint and hope that the parties will reach a satisfactory solution.

 

Kind regards,

Lene Walther Bjerregaard (Ms) | Customer Service

 

 

 

Bang & Olufsen A/S | Peter Bangs Vej 15 | DK-7600 Struer | Denmark

http://www.bang-olufsen.com| http://www.beoplay.com

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