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Sweatband.com Treadmill in garage failed after 3mts - Not Covered by Warranty


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Hi 

I wonder if anyone can assist.

 

We purchased a proform treadmill from Sweatband.com approximately 3 months ago.

It is a fairly large treadmill and we purchased with the intention of putting into our garage which has electrical wiring and my partner has a turbo trainer already in there (has been for years).

 

when the treadmill got delivered the warranty documents advise against keeping it in the garage.

No where on the website for Sweatband or the manufacturer's website does it recommend the treadmill is not kept in the garage.

 

The sweatband website has a treadmill buyer's guide where it actually comments that people like to put treadmills in the garage but consider the head height. So it is only after you have purchased and taken delivery of the treadmill are you advised not to keep it in the garage. 

 

We took delivery and set it up on a proper gym mat.

We make sure to turn it off when not in use and to cover the treadmill when not in use.

It has been working fine.

 

I used it on Friday night

then on Saturday morning when I went to switch on the electrics have stopped. 

 

Sweatband are now redirecting us to the manufacturer who are saying we have the item in an unsuitable environment and this will void our warranty. 

The item is so big we cannot physically lift it out of the garage and we do not have a room in the house big enough to store it. 

 

Has anyone had any similar problems with treadmills in the garage and it affecting the warranty?

We feel we have been mis-sold a product as it is only after you have taken delivery are you told you cannot store in the garage despite the seller's guide making reference to where to store your treadmill and making reference to the garage but failing to warn it is against advice to store it there. We would have never bought the treadmill if we knew it was unsuitable for the garage. 

 

Also we made the transaction via paypal but using our credit card.

Do we have any protection with our credit card or paypal?

 

The cost was £1,500 so we do feel it should last longer than 3 months.

 

Any help or advice would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks 

EM0149 

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  • dx100uk changed the title to Sweatband.com Treadmill in garage failed after 3mts - Not Covered by Warranty

nothing to do with any warranty or guarantee nor T&C's.

and nothing to do with where you kept nor used it.

 

under the Consumer rights act you are entitled for upto 6yrs to have an item that is fit for purpose.

 

your item has failed within 6mts

so under the CRA it is the retailer responsibility to inspect it and have ONE chance to repair it .. no quibble.

 

sadly as you purchased the item through paypal with your credit card i don't think you have any rights that way under section 75 of the consumer rights act.

 

@BankFodder will be around AM to help with how to move you forward possibly by a formal letter

but safe to say Sweatband.com are taking you for a fool.

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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For general info, I have a Life Fitness treadmill which has been in my garage for the past two years.  It cost around £2k so in the same ball park as yours.  It was installed for us by professionals and there was no hint that it is an unsuitable environment - because it isn’t.  The gym I use (when I can) is even less salubrious than most garages, think bare aircraft hangar rather than carpets and smoothie bars.  It is not heated.  It has a range of top end cardio equipment all working just fine.

 

 

 

 

Edited by hightail
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Sweatband.com like many of these online retailers – and also retail shops – which sell their goods, make all sorts of claims for their customer service et cetera – but when things go wrong they refer you to the manufacturer.
Of course this can be a very sensible arrangement because the manufacturer is better placed to deal with the problem – but we tend to find that very often the manufacturer is pretty reluctant and of course because they are not the retailer, there really not too bothered about their customer-facing reputation.

So as has been suggested by my site team colleague above, you are being fobbed off.

Secondly, any attempt now to start saying that the treadmill should not be used in the garage – when this has not been referred to at all when it was being sold to you, is in effect introducing a new term into an existing contract. This means that it has no effect whatsoever and is not binding.

Sweatband.com are bound by the law of contract and also by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You are entitled to purchase a treadmill which is of satisfactory quality and remains that way for a reasonable period of time – and you are quite right, it hasn't matched up to those standards and so sweatband.com are in breach of contract. It has nothing to do with the manufacturer. If the manufacturer really wants to say that it should be kept in a garage then that's between them and sweatband. It's especially telling that according to you sweatband have actually said that this is a great thing to keep in your garage.

I would suggest that you go around the Internet – trust pilot et cetera putting up reviews about sweatband – who as I have said after fobbing you off and letting you down – but also you should put up separate reviews about this particular brand of treadmill and make sure everybody sees that even the manufacturer is saying that it should be kept in a garage and that they won't stand by their product when it breaks down after three months.

I can imagine that the person who said this to you from the manufacturer will get a bit of a talking to.

Maybe you can tell us the make and model number of this treadmill so that references to it will come up in Google hits in the future.

The situation as advised by my site team colleague is that as it has failed within the first six months, the retailer is entitled to one single opportunity to carry out a repair and failing that they are obliged either to replace the item or to give your refund at your option. These are rights which have been created by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. These rights should be asserted in writing

You should write to the retailer immediately and put them on notice that you are asserting your rights under the 2015 act and you are giving them a single opportunity to repair the treadmill. Tell them that given its size and its weight, it will have to be repaired at your home unless sweatband.com want to take responsibility for picking it up and selling it to whoever they want to get it repaired by.

I can imagine sweatband won't be happy about this and you are going to find everybody's going to start dragging their feet. I can imagine also that sweatband would try to up the ante by saying that it is your responsibility to return the treadmill to them. That would be wrong. The treadmill is defective. Sweatband are in breach – and it is up to them to deal with the problem.

I think you will need to be quite assertive and I would suggest that your letter to them should give them a seven day window to let you know what the arrangements are and that the treadmill should be repaired or replaced in any event within 14 days.

Please keep us informed as to what happens. Just so you know what we will advise if sweatband don't step up to the mark – if they don't let you have a satisfactory response within the first seven days then we will be suggesting that you begin the claims process by sending them a letter of claim – which then leads to a small claim in the County Court.

This is not something you should worry about. Your chances of success are much better than 95% and I can imagine that at the end of the day sweatband.com don't want this kind of trouble and once they realise that you are happy to confront them, they will buckle down.

Of course you never know – maybe they are going to act brilliantly and respond correctly immediately – in which case it will be kudos to them. Let's see


 

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By the way, have sweatband.com actually refused to take responsibility for this now? Are they standing by the manufacturers position that it should not have been kept in a garage?

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As pointed out your issue is with Sweatband and the warranty is irrelevant but I am fascinated by exactly what this added term says.  Is it only the garage which is a problem or any outbuilding?  If you put up a shed and call it a garden room or home gym is that ok?  If your garage has been converted into a home gym is it still a garage?  Just pointing out how utterly ridiculous such a term is.  Definitely use social media to point this out to as many as possible.

Edited by hightail
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Hi all 

 

Thank you so much for all your comments and advice, especially @bankfodder 

 

The treadmill was a Proform pro 1500. Icon are the manufacturer. 

 

Just to clarify this is the second machine we had. The initial treadmill we had for approx 2 months. Again this was working fine one day then would not switch on the next. We reported this to Sweatband who redirected us to the manufacturer. The problem was the same with the electrics however on that occasion the manufacturer indicated there was a problem with alignment of the running surface and they sent a replacement. Now the electric problem is the same issue but they are saying the item is in an unsuitable environmental. 

 

I have reviewed Sweatband's website again and now I notice there is a small Q & A section at the bottom which states as follows: 

 

"Can I keep this treadmill in my garage?

if your garage is insulated and is warm and dry throughout the year then it will be OK. However if it's an ordinary garage without heating or insulation we'd say it's better not to put it in there as cold and damp conditions may damage the electronic components." 

 

Do you think this now means we have no protection? I cannot say if this was on there when we purchased the treadmill. I am also reading a number of reviews from other people indicating the treadmill has packed in after short usage. These reviews are all after we made our purchase. 

 

Thank you again 

EM0149

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What date did you buy the first one?

 

Please post a link to the page where it refers to the garage

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 I notice that you haven't addressed my question as to whether sweatband.com have actually refused to take any responsibility for this now.

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Hi 

 

The first one was purchased in August 2020 and returned in October. This is the link to the page. 

 

https://www.sweatband.com/proform-pro-1500-treadmill.html

 

We wanted to research our rights so we were clear on them before going back to the manufacturer or sweatband. The last communication was with the manufacturer who sweatband directed us to and the manufacturer told us the location of the treadmill was unsuitable and we had to move it our it would void our warranty. 

 

I wonder if you could be kind enough to let me know if you think the link above affects our protection under the consumer rights act

 

Thank you again 

EM0149

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So I have to ask you once again, has sweatband eventually refused to accept any responsibility for this now that you have been knocked back by the manufacturer?

I'd be very grateful if you could address this question which I've already asked twice now.

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@bankfodder 

 

We have not returned back to sweatband since speaking to the manufacturer. We wanted to research our legal rights in the first instance 

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Thank you.

I've looked at the general page for treadmills and they specifically referred to using your treadmill in a garage and the only warning they give is about headroom. The fact that the temperature/humidity of the garage is not referred to indicates that it is not a problem.

You have found a specific reference to the garage problem in the page dealing with that particular model of treadmill. As you have already indicated, there is no way of knowing whether that reference is a recent addition. Looking at the manual for that model treadmill, they do refer to the problem of using unheated garages and in fact the wording they use is exactly the wording which is used on the sweatband website – so you can take it that it has been copied from the manual. Of course that doesn't tell us when the words were added.

I have looked at Internet archives and although I see that copies of the sweatband.com website have been taken from time to time, there seems to be no archive copies of that specific website page dealing with that model treadmill. So we don't get any help there.

The question is, of course, whether these garage humidity warnings are incorporated into the contract which you made. Clearly the warning in the manual is not part of the contract because you would have only received the manual after you bought the treadmill.

I suppose that sweatband.com will try to say that the product description which refers to that model trainer was very clear about the garage humidity problem and therefore it formed part of the contract so that you were fully informed before you decided to make the purchase and therefore you are bound by those conditions.

 

Your counterargument would be that the information which is given on the general treadmill page refer specifically to keeping it in a garage and doesn't warn anybody of any issues at all. In fact the absence of any reference to a humidity problem can be taken to give a green light to the using of a treadmill in a garage.
Furthermore, in the specific product information, the reference to the garage humidity problem is only expressed in the Q&A and so it might be reasonable to say that this clearly was not intended to be a formal warning of the specific limitation. Not only that, the reference to the garage humidity problem in the Q&A was really expressed as a recommendation and only warned that there might be a problem – not that there definitely would be a problem.
Also, there was no warning that using the treadmill in a garage was at your own risk and could void any guarantee or statutory rights that you might have.

It seems to me that the information contained in the Q&A was casual enough not to be treated as binding. It seems to me that the information given in the generic treadmill page was intended to be reassuring that a treadmill could be used in the garage – the only concerns being as to whether or not there was enough headroom.

Can you tell me how the treadmill was delivered and how it was installed? Who installed it? I'm referring to the first one and also to the second one.

 

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1 hour ago, BankFodder said:


Can you tell me how the treadmill was delivered and how it was installed? Who installed it? I'm referring to the first one and also to the second one.

 

 

Need an answer to this as it could be very important

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Thank you very much for your response.

 

The first treadmill was delivered by courier arranged by Sweatband. The first one was picked up and the replacement delivered by a company called Panther instructed by the manufacturer Icon. Both were delivered into our garage. 

 

Both treadmills were installed by us. 

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Okay thanks.

I saw on the sweatband.com website that they provide installation and expertise et cetera blah blah blah.

Obviously that didn't happen here. It would have been very useful if that had been installed by sweatband themselves because that would also have confirmed their acceptance that it was going into a garage and also that it was correctly installed.

I suppose that Panther's are merely couriers and they are not people who simply deliver or install equipment on behalf of Icon.

I understand that although you have been declined by the manufacturer, you haven't gone back to sweatband.com.

I think you need to do this – but also I think you need to take control by understanding exactly what you are proposing to do and are having a plan.

I would suggest that you contact sweatband.com in writing. Try not to be to conflict-oriented at this point but tell them that the manufacturer has has declined to apply the warranty – and say you are now turning to them, sweatband.com, to propose the way forward.
I don't suggest that you use any formal language or issue any deadlines or threats at this point. However, I think that if you don't have a reply at the end of seven days or if you receive a negative reply then you should probably issue a letter of claim.

Don't imagine that if they have refused you so far that if you send a letter of claim that they will suddenly buckle and sort things out. They won't

This means that if you decide to send a letter of claim, you will without doubt be bringing a legal action – and I am pretty sure that this is where it's going to go.
Bringing a small claim in the County Court is an easy matter but you should read around this forum to understand the steps so that you are confident of how it all works.

Of course we will help you all the way and help you draft your particulars of claim so you will be well supported here.

Of course if you issue the claim then this will cost you money – you will have to check the court website but there will be the claim fee which might be about 80 quid and then a hearing fee which might be another 80 quid or so. This means that you are exposed to a loss of £160 or so if you lose the case.
I think your chances of success are extremely good – better than 85% – maybe 90%.

However you will have to understand your way through it all and understand the principles. It's not difficult and you can ask questions here and we can resolve all the intricacies for you.

The chances are that this will go to mediation – and then it is quite likely that sweatband.com will seek to arrive at some compromise where you give up a certain amount of the value that you are seeking. We'll see how it goes and I would like to see the defence before we recommend compromising or recommend standing your ground and going through to a hearing.

If you have never been through a mediation process before then if you look at the postal services and delivery sub- forum you will see quite a number of excellent summaries of the mediation journey which have been posted by people who have had to sue Hermes for non-delivery of parcels.

If you think you aren't prepared to bring a legal action then don't bother sending the letter of claim. You will simply lose credibility. However, you will then be stuck with a very heavy £1500 paperweight in your garage. Frankly, for the risk of £160 and very good chances of winning the case, I think it's a no-brainer – but it is something that you will have to decide.

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@BankFodderthank you very much for your help and guidance. It has been extremely useful.

 

I have now contacted sweatband in writing setting out our position and that we want to rectify this situation with them 

I will let you know how i get on

 

Thanks

EM0149

 

Hi 

 

Further to my posts above. We have now received the following response from sweatband agreeing with the manufacturer that we cannot keep the treadmill in our garage: 


"Thanks for contacting us and I was sorry to read of the problems you are experiencing. Of course, we will try and assist you, however, they are correct with regards to location.
On our site, if you look at the product description there is the manual to view which mentions the conditions the unit needs to be kept in:. This is like all electronic, or items with electronic components, where they need to be kept away from moisture.
If you can arrange to get the unit inside, then we can arrange with Icon to deal with matters"

 

Any further advice would be appreciated? I appreciate buyer by aware and all but I feel a little as if we have been mis-sold this item. I am not sure of any other item where you are expected to read the user manual before purchasing the item. 

 

Thanks in advance 

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By and large this was predicted in my previous post.

I completely agree with you that you shouldn't be required to have read the manual before you enter the contract.

I think your position is broadly that which I suggested in my earlier post and your next action is to send a letter of claim – but this assumes that you understand the steps involved in bringing a small claim in the County Court and you are prepared to go ahead. There is no point bluffing. It won't get you anywhere.

I think that you should rely on their so called treadmills buying guide https://www.sweatband.com/treadmills.html and if I were you I'd make sure that you take a copy of the page in case someone decides to get a bit fancy with it.

I would also take a copy of their specific Q&A's in relation to that particular treadmill just in case somebody mysteriously tightens up the wording. At the moment the wording is really simply a general recommendation and nowhere does it specifically one you that by doing this you risk the machine and also it will invalidate your warranty and any statutory rights.

I suggest also that you start going over the Internet and find anyone else with the same experience – I believe that you said that a number of people are stunned to find that their treadmills are breaking down. Start finding out if they have put them in the garage. If you want bring along to this forum we may be able to help them as well.

You need to get as much evidence as possible that there are issues here and that the manufacturer and/or the retailer are not properly warning their customers.

Prepare a draft letter of claim and post up here. However, make sure that you have read around and you understand the steps involved in taking a small claim in the County Court. It's not difficult but it will help you to understand the journey and it will give you confidence.

 

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Incidentally I would also stop posting around the Internet and make it clear that sweatband.com are attempting to avoid their statutory rights on the basis that treadmills should not be kept in garages. Do this on review sites – and any fitness forums et cetera. You may be surprised at the amount of support you get. Try to get contact details for anybody and also recommend that they come here

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Also I suggest you visit all of the treadmill pages on the sweatband.com website and download a copy of the page for each model and also download a copy of the instruction manual.

 

I suggest that you do this urgently

For instance, I notice that this model https://www.sweatband.com/nordictrack-t8.9b-treadmill.html makes absolutely no references to garages on the website – but the manual at page 4, paragraph 5 is unequivocal that the treadmill must not be kept in the garage.
It is expressed in far more restrictive terms than the warning which is given in the instruction manual for your model.

Once again, because the instruction manual is not part of the contract, it's quite amazing that sweatband.com are completely silent on the issue of using the garage despite the very forbidding terms in the manual.
I have to say this does make me slightly suspicious as to when the relevant passage for your model was added. However, we have no evidence.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

By way of an update. After some back and forth with Sweatband and most importantly a few online reviews their latest response is: 

 

"After discussions with management. 

 

They have also commented that the manual was available at the time of purchase to view regarding requirements of the location and that all purchased equipment needs some maintenance from time to time, but that it needs to be kept in the appropriate conditions. 

However, on this occasion, we are happy to organise the repair without charge, but if the machine is continued to be kept in the garage, it will invalidate the warranty and if the electronics fail again, any further service will be chargeable." 

 

Now, whilst this may fix the initial problem it is not a long term solution and I still believe we have protection under the consumer rights act 2015. Can anyone provide assistance on a reply? If they consider my understanding to be correct? 

 

Thanks 

Em0149 
 

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I agree.

If they want to sell them to people in the future and make sure that the garage restriction is included in the contract, then that is a matter for them. However, in your case, if we are correct that that limitation was not included in the contract – then they can't now impose a new term on an existing contract.

Of course you are now in a difficult position because you can have it repaired but then according to them, you won't be able to use it in your garage – and I can imagine that that is the only space you have for it.

I suppose it's up to you how you want to deal with it. You can accept the repair but if it breaks down again, you will have to lock horns with them and it will probably end up in litigation – which I expect you have a high chance of winning.

Or else you could reject their conditional offer to repair and if they won't change their position then you will have to sue them.

Of course they could decide to reach an accord with you whereby they agreed to take the treadmill back and refund your money. That would be moderately satisfactory – but of course it would mean that you are left without the treadmill that you paid for and you will have to source another one.

 

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