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BT refusing to replace malfunctioning router - SOGA?


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I work for a charity (http://www.ucandoit.og.uk) which teaches people with disabilities how to use computers.

 

One of my students has been having real problems with his BT Voyager 210 router. It seems to run very hot, and then disconnects from the internet.

 

According to my bt voyager 210 adsl router keeps on disconnecting - The Scream! lots of people have been having problems similar to my student's.

 

Since my student is blind this is a huge problem for him, as it's difficult for him to tell when the router has disconnected.

 

I spoke to BT today and they refused to replace the router as it is out of the year long warranty they provide. The warranty ran out in July.

 

Does anyone know if I have my student has any statutory rights which mean that he can get a new router out of BT? It seems to me that the Sale of Good Act would mean that the router should be "fit for purpose" and should work for more than 14 months.

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The thing is - is this BT saying no or just the person on the other end of the phone.

 

I would write to bt using your charity headed paper and you might just find you get a completely different answer.

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That's a very good point - but does anyone know if there are any laws, such as SOGA, that cover this sort of thing?

 

IF BT don't respond to the letter, I'm sure a number of papers would find this story very interesting...

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Did the gentleman you represent pay for the router, or was it provided free with a fixed term contract?

 

If the first then you can argue the product is not fit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act.

 

If the second, you're arguing the product is not fit for purpose under the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

 

Bear in mind that if you write to them on behalf of your client you make sure you are representing him as a litigation friend and that it is a consumer dispute, just to avoid any confusion about the consumer status of the customer.

 

David

Here to help!

 

Good with employment, disability and welfare/benefit questions :rolleyes:

Just ask!

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Thanks for your reply David. The router was provided free with a fixed-term contract (which may still be in place; not sure if it was a year or 18 months), so I'll write to them with reference to the SoGaSA (I love acronyms!)

 

And thanks for the advice about clarifying the status of my client.

 

I'll keep you posted!

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  • 1 month later...

Keep in mind they will be looking to renew this contract shortly, feel free to point that out to them in any future contact..

And the lord said "come forth and i shall grant you eternal life" I came fifth and got a toaster!!!:D

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Just so you all know, I've now written to BT demanding a new router/repair under the SoGaSA. It turns out that my student is in contract until January next year! I haven't had a reply back from BT yet but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume things have been messed up by the postal strike.

 

It's a good point about mentioning the forthcoming renewal (or otherwise) of the contract. I'm still not sure whether I just want to get the end result sorted, or whether I'm up for a proper fight whereby I try and get BT to stick to the law and admit that they're sticking to the law...

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i ended up with some new home phones aswell...bless them.. Dont forget BT vision and anything else you see in the bt shop.. push them, i did

And the lord said "come forth and i shall grant you eternal life" I came fifth and got a toaster!!!:D

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SUCCESS! I went to see my student last night, and he had a brand new replacement router, sent out to him by BT. I also had a call from them on my answerphone.

 

What's irritating about this, though, is the number of people who don't know the law and who would have just taken BT on their word and paid for a new router. I think it's time that the law is changed, so that BT are legally bound to train their staff to be aware of the SOGA and SOGASA. But I doubt that will happen in the near future...

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I don't think it is a case of not training them, but more a case of trying to get away with it as often as possible due to the consumer not knowing his rights. Those that persist usually get there in the end. More action needs to be taken against companies who do this, then and only then may the consumer get satisfactory service at the first point of calling.

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Whether their staff know about the law (and are told not to respond when the law is mentione) or they don't know about the law (because they aren't told about it and, in BT's case at least, because they live in India, they would have no reason to know about it), I think it's time that legislation is passed which enforces corporations to go to "reasonable lengths" to work within the law, rather than just trying to shirk it like they do now.

 

The whole point of the law, at least in theory, is to protect less powerful people and institutions against more powerful people and institutions, so I think it should be put to work in this case: kind of like the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Act, which has led to so many people getting their bank charges back.

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