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Fitness Superstore - Delivery Dispute


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On 20th November I ordered a BTX 326 treadmill online at Fitness Superstore.

 

At checkout I had two available options 1. Collect in person £0.00 and 2. Delivery £0.00.

 

I chose delivery and paid or the item using my Lloyds credit card.

 

Later that day I received an e-mail stating the item was collection only.

 

Below are the two latest communications outlining both mine and Fitness Superstores' position on the matter.

 

My last e-mail:
 

Quote

Dear Fitness Superstore,

Thank you for your reply,

I recommend that this is now escalated beyond the sales team to a decision maker within the Bodypower Sports group perhaps even Mr Paul Walker.

Regardless of what is stated on your website it must be understood that the contract that was entered into at the time of purchase was one that included delivery, hence the reason for our ongoing dispute.

I will begin to make my own arrangements for a courier to retrieve the purchased item and have it delivered to myself if Fitness Superstore continues to refuse to honour its contractual obligations.

I recommend that in the interest of reducing the costs incurred for both parties that Fitness Superstore utilise its connection with its UK courier service to find a solution.

However as stated above if Fitness Superstore continue to refuse I will make my own arrangements as necessary.

If we are unable to resolve our dispute amicably this may lead to a claim being brought against you in the county court.

Sincerely,

Intrepid

 

Fitness Superstore reply (my comments are highlighted in red):

 

Quote

I am sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction regarding your recent purchase of an ex display treadmill from our Gloucester store.
Having reviewed your case I would like to highlight our advertised terms and work with you to suggest an amicable solution.

The treadmill you purchased is a showroom display model in our Gloucester showroom.
When showroom products are advertised for sale on our website, the title of the product also highlights the collection (see example attached).

 


The website is programmed and designed to offer all customers a delivery or collection option – when you proceed to payment, the website will have advised you this ex display item is a collect only item and the date options offered are for collection and not delivery. This is untrue their website does not offer collection on all items.

There are some instances where we can organise delivery for some customers – this is usually on the basis that the item can be palletised and shipped to the customer on a kerbside delivery. The website confirms that
we may be able to palletise some ex-display products.
In order to process this, the item will need to be prepared in our warehouse where they have the equipment to move and palletise the product – unfortunately, our showrooms do not have such equipment and are unable to ship to customers due to this.

Fitness superstore are unable to facilitate 3rd party collections due to GDPR regulations.
We are able to allow a 3rd party collection if you are able to pay via bank transfer
– we will of course refund the card if you are happy to pay with this option. If you would like us to set this up for you, please let me

In relation to additional discounts, the product purchased is already heavily discounted – it has recently been further reduced by a further 10% - due to this we are unable to offer any more discount. At no point did  ask for an additional discount, I am unsure why this was raised.

If any of the suggestions above cannot be agreed to and we are unable to come to a mutually amicable arrangement we will proceed to cancel the order and refund you in full.

Please feel free to come back to the team if there is anything more we can assist you with.
Kind regards,
Leila - Admin Team Manager


The part highlighted in bold appears to be a very poor excuse for what they are attempting to achieve which is a transfer of liability and removal of the protections assued to me by paying by credit card.

 

As usual I am grateful for any input on how it may be best to proceed. Essentially what I am seeking is the deliery of the item I purchased and if we cannot reach an amicable resolution then a full reimbursement of the additonal costs I incur as a result.

 

Thanks for reading and any comments. Intrepid.

Also what are the commands to Quote? [Quote]test[/Quote] appears not to work.

Edited by Intrepid
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In principle you are correct of course. What would be the cost of delivery if you organise it yourself?

Are you sure that there is no small print on their website that says that the contract is only executed once the item has been selected for dispatch and is en route?
Had they taken the money from your account?

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Thank you BF, I have obtained an internet quote which is approximately £182.50

 

I have checked the terms and conditions and there is no reference to execution of contract. It is my understanding that when terms are not expressly agreed that in the absence of the agreement then disputes will favour the beneficiary of the contract i.e. me the purchaser.

 

What do you think of organising the delivery myself in the face of their threat that they will not allow my couriers on site due to "GDPR regulations" (sic). I find this claim bogus and while they may have a legal right to control right of access to their store, in this case I deem it would be be unreasonable to deny access.

 

I also consider that the "threat" is made by a manager further up the chain and that the sales team at the store may not be as bothered if someone turns up to collect goods and is able to produce a courier contract for the purchased item.

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I don't understand why they would not permit a courier to pick up the item.

They would allow your auntie to go along and get it or your granny.

How much does the Fitness Superstore want for delivery?

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I do not understand either, however it is outlined in their reply in the quote above which for your convenience I have reproduced below.
 

"Fitness superstore are unable to facilitate 3rd party collections due to GDPR regulations
We are able to allow a 3rd party collection if you are able to pay via bank transfer"


How I pay in my opinion has no bearing on how I collect my goods, especially when I am forced to do so as a result of their breach of contract. What they are attempting is a subtle transfer of liability without the protections afforded by credit card payment.

 

Fitness Superstore are refusing to deliver or produce a cost to do so which is where I thought this would sensibly lead.

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So fitness superstore are happy to sell you a treadmill as long as you collect it yourself.

Which treadmill is it? Maybe you can provide a link

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Alternatively they are happy to sell me a treatmill collected by a third party provided I pay by bank transfer due to some bogus claim under GDPR.

 

Essentially what they are acusing me of is arranging the theft of a treadmill.

 

The link has been removed as it has been purchased by me.

Edited by Intrepid
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Well which model is it. Is it a folding one? Is it a rigid one? Surely you can give us the model number.

I just visited the site and it has various options including as you have said, 0 pounds for delivery – but you have to do contact them to arrange a delivery fee. It says:

Quote


Could that have been what you saw?

 

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Thank you that is excellent, that is exactly what I saw and I have been trying to reproduce it as evidence.

The model is a Bowflex Series BXT326 Folding Treadmill.

 

I have a copy of the listing as advertised and unlike the majority of other items it does not have "collection only" written in the title which is why I went ahead and purchased it and also saw that delivery was available at checkout.

 

The problem I have is that they are refusing entirely to deliver the item but I fully expected that they would come to an arrangement with their courier and offer me a price. As they refuse to deliver I am forced into a position to arrange my own courier which they are attempting to state they will deny access to the premises based on GDPR.

Edited by Intrepid
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So this one is available from their Manchester store as an ex-demo.

 

WWW.FITNESS-SUPERSTORE.CO.UK

Ex-Display Model. Customer to collect from our Manchester Showroom (By Pre-Arranged Appointment Only).

 

But it does say for that one:  "Customer to collect from our Manchester Showroom (By Pre-Arranged Appointment Only)"

 

Presumably yours from the Cheltenham store did not say that?

 

Even if the final purchase page seemed to suggest that delivery was an option, they'll probably just argue that that was an error and they aren't necessarily bound by it.

 

I think they can impose whatever restrictions on delivery/collection/payment method they like, but if you really want to try to put them on the spot, you could ask them (1) to explain what possible GDPR implications there could be in you arranging for collection of it by a third party - you would obviously be consenting for them to have whatever info of yours is necessary to collect it and deliver it - and (2) why the use of bank transfer as opposed to payment by credit card magically renders any GDPR concerns irrelevant.  Try, politely, to embarrass them.

 

Having said that, (1) there may be very valid reasons why ex-demo items are collection only and (2) I think you may find it difficult to establish that there is a contract to deliver the treadmill*, so I think you're only going to get your money back.

 

*You must have received some sort of order confirmation - what did it say?  Did it eg say "Delivery £0.00" or "Delivery FREE", or did it say "Collection ONLY"?

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I simply went to their website and chose a non-folding treadmill and went through the checkout process until I got that screen.

I've just visited again and found the treadmill that you want and it says collection only

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42 minutes ago, Intrepid said:

...

 

The problem I have is that they are refusing entirely to deliver the item but I fully expected that they would come to an arrangement with their courier and offer me a price. As they refuse to deliver I am forced into a position to arrange my own courier which they are attempting to state they will deny access to the premises based on GDPR.

 

As I posted above:  ask them (1) what the GDPR implications are that prevent you arranging your own courier to pick it up, and (2) why those same GDPR implications miraculously disappear if you pay by bank transfer.

 

I suspect either they will let you arrange a courier and pay by credit card, or they'll refund you and tell you to buzz off.

 

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Yes that is correct they had/have a few for sale that were listed as such not on the one I purchased, which I can evidence plus the fact I selected delivery at checkout as above.

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Standby while I upload my confirmation e-mail where it clearly states the item will be delivered. The next day Fitness Superstore re-created their own invoice which is ambigious, it has my "delivery details" but also states collection only.

 

I will post up redacted copies so that they can be reviewed.

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Have you been refunded your money?

Is there some other source of the same treadmill?

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I have not received a refund, I have not requested a refund, my preference is to take posession of the goods.

No I have checked for other retailers, no other availability exists and I believe the model is being discontinued by the manufacturer.

Edited by Intrepid
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I think your best interests are served by doing whatever is necessary to take delivery or collect the item and then go back and sue for the expenses you have incurred.

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I agree that is the plan I formed, do you have any thoughts on how to handle a hypotherical scenario where they are turning away a courier I have arranged to collect the goods.

 

Collection in person isn't an option, I can give a reasonable explanation as to why but I don't think it really matters why, it is simply that I cannot.

 

I can only think if I receive such a phone call that I simply explain that if they refuse entry I will submit an immediate claim for the expenses incurred for the courier service they are preventing from entering, re-book the collection and try again.

 

I could give them advanced warning but this may entrench their position and result in them issuing a refund - which I have not asked for or accepted.

 

Their request that I pay by bank transfer is in my opinion unreasonable and for such a retailer refusing certain forms of payment may be unlawful. Either they accept credit card as a form of payment for all their items or none of them. I've never known a shop to differentiate payment methods based on the item for sale.

Edited by Intrepid
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I don't really see any problem with paying by bank transfer – but I understand that you have paid and they have your money? So I don't understand why you have raised this point.

 

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I raise it because this is what Fitness Superstore stated in their reply to my e-mail indicating I would arrange for a courier to collec the item.

""Fitness superstore are unable to facilitate 3rd party collections due to GDPR regulations
We are able to allow a 3rd party collection if you are able to pay via bank transfer"

 

I anticipate that far from any GDPR complaince concerns they are instead trying to ensure they cannot be subject to a section 75 claim in the event I do not receive the goods.

 

It cannot be the case that these "GDPR regulations" they refer to only apply to credit card transactions and not bank transfers.

Edited by Intrepid
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Well maybe they are suspecting some kind of fraud if you pay by credit card and then an unknown third party collect it and then later on you deny that it was ever collected by anybody linked to you.
It's all a bit far-fetched – but I can see that there is some logic to it.

Although it's a nuisance, may be the easiest way through this if you really want the machine is to pay by bank transfer, get your courier to pick it up and then we can see about recovering the cost of the courier.

I really think that's the best way forward. They are being silly But apparently you are buying an item which is being discontinued and you are getting it at the discount and there aren't any others left.

The best of seizing the opportunity and at least take possession of it. After that we can examine where you stand and how to collect any ancillary losses

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Ok thank you for your reply, I will arrange for the courier to collect the item. I will see if they deny them a right of access to collect the item then if it all comes to a head on the day I guess I can revert to a refund, followed by a bank transfer then as you state a claim for the cost of the courier.

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I think you should make the bank transfer first.

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