Online Auction Refund success

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3 Posts
Techbid / i-bidder on-line auction - Court case success!
It’s great to report a success story concerning an issue that may affect a lot of readers.
I was tempted to bid in an online auction – hosted by i-bidder from a company called Techbid. The auction was for used audio/visual equipment and I needed an audio mixer. There was one offered for auction so I went through the process of first registering with i-bidder. It drew my attention to the terms and conditions, which I read on a separate web page – fairly standard. The on-line auction was ‘taking place’ in London – 300 miles from where I live and although Techbid say that you can inspect the items, you must ask to do so in writing and you only have 7 days before the start of the auction to do so. I decided not to try to inspect the item as the item I intended bidding on had a reserve price and the company seemed reputable, the item was worth less than £100, and anyway, I have my consumer rights don’t I?
Now to cut a long story short, I bid and won, paid the auction charge and shipping, got the item, tried it out and it didn’t work. I explained and complained and was arrogantly referred to Techbid’s T&C’s which I didn’t know about and which were not made clearly available beforehand. Their T&C’s say; ‘absolutely no refunds … can’t guarantee the items are of merchantable quality … if they don’t work that’s your problem’ … etc.
I knew that as a consumer this must be wrong, so I took them to the Small Claims Court. No one from Techbid showed up and the Judge actually laughed at one point saying that he couldn’t believe that these people think they can make up their own rules! Under the Sale of Goods Legislation Act and the laws regarding distance selling the goods should have been of merchantable quality or declared not to be. He ordered them to pay me my money back and costs. Incidentally all of their sales are therefore not legal under their terms of contract – none of their contracts are legal and binding.
Techbid have not yet changed their T&C’s.
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