Taking the Michael – a tale of two e-sites. By Simon Hurst

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It's very easy to buy things on line and most companies are very good at delivering orders promptly and accurately. However, when it comes to dealing with problems the level of service can be very different.

A few years ago I stopped dealing with one supplier that I had used almost exclusively for computer-related products. The issue I had was almost embarrassingly trivial. A monitor I bought from them ceased working within its warranty period. I returned it for a replacement. Unfortunately they had ceased supplying that particular product in the meantime so could not replace it.

After a protracted email correspondence between me and their automated response system I received a credit, but one that only covered the cost of the item, not the initial delivery cost or the cost of me returning t...

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14th Dec 2006 14:39

Sale of Goods Act
IANAL (at least, not in this field of law) but I've had success before when items are not long out of warranty by pointing out that the Sale of Goods Act requires goods sold to be of satisfactory quality, including their expected life. That will depend on the product, but clearly the fact that the bulb is replaceable and has an expected life of 2000 hours indicates that the projector is expected to work for a lot longer than that. I've had my current projector for about four years, and don't feel that it is a particularly long lasting one just because it hasn't failed yet.

It seems, on the balance of probablilities, that the projector had a faulty component on sale; one that was meant to last five years or so and failed after one. If so, Dell would appear to be liable to pay damages amounting either to the cost of repair or an appropriate proportion of the origjnal price to represent the years of use you expected but did not get.

I recently got half the cost of a computer back on this basis when it failed about eighteen months in (there were some mitigating factors for the vendor, in that we were late in reporting it), and had the electronic 'brain' of a second-hand car bought at one year old from a main dealer replaced twice when it failed in successive winters.

Mike Truman

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19th Dec 2006 08:32

Good idea
Thanks Mike - good idea

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