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Mattress exchange/refund rights
in Consumer rights
59 replies 1.8K views
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As at least you still have a mattress you like to sleep on, rather than a airbed.
& the company are being proactive.
Because the OP was offered and accepted a refund (whether full or partial) that seems to me to be the end of all issues with mattress 1, and mattress 2 becomes a new transaction, with new 30 day and 6 month time windows.
Mattress 2 was identified as faulty from the outset because it was not a "uniform shape" and therefore showed the bedframe*. The seller offered to, and did, replace it immediately. The replacement - mattress 3 - suffered from the same defect as mattress 2. This appears to have been established by the OP measuring mattress 3, witnessed by the delivery men, and presumably then comparing these measurement's to those of mattress 2. Whether this also was witnessed by the delivery men is not clear to me, but after measuring mattress 3 the OP rejected it and the delivery men took it away.
The seller now wants to inspect mattress 2 to see exactly what the problem is. The OP has no problem with such an inspection, but argues that as the seller has already "accepted" the fault by agreeing to replace mattress 2 with mattress 3, that the seller now has no right to inspect mattress 2 and that an inspection will simply waste more time. The OP can't afford to take any more time off work to allow an inspection.
I think I'm inclined to agree with @Ath_Wat that the fact that the seller agreed immediately to replace mattress 2 with mattress 3 does not necessarily indicate that the seller was accepting that there actually was a fault with mattress 2. The point is certainly arguable but I don't think it's necessarily a winner. The seller might equally have been providing excellent customer service - "the customer is always right" - and not accepting at all that there is a fault.
I also agree that it might be such an unusual fault (the mattress is not a uniform shape and you can see the bedframe) that it's not unusual for the seller to want to inspect it. Bedframes and mattresses tend to be standardised sizes and it is perhaps very unusual that a £1500 mattress hasn't been manufactured to the correct size, shape and tolerances*.
If I were the OP I'd go back to the seller, offer again to supply the relevant measurements together with photos and/or video, and explain that they can't afford to take any more time off work, so what does the seller propose to resolve this issue. If the seller refuses to accept the measurements and photos/video and insists instead on a physical inspection which requires the OP taking more time off work, I'd tell them that if they eventually accept that there is a fault, then I expect them to refund me the money equivalent of whatever I would lose by taking unpaid time off work.
* @greenstick - can you possibly post up the photos you have of the problem? The photos the seller won't accept. Can you also post the relevant measurements of the bed frame and mattress? You said earlier that the tape measure doesn't lie. It might assist other posters to give you more helpful advice.
edit: What make is the mattress?
However, when the customer claims that the second mattress you send is the second ever reported of these £1500 mattresses to be "not a uniform shape", that is either an extraordinary coincidence, or the customer just expecting a degree of perfection beyond the normal or achievable. Therefore, it is reasonable to ask that that point, not before, to ask to look at it.
(Especially as they may well have looked at mattress 3 by now and decided there is nothing wrong with it.)
Knowing whether we are talking about a couple of cm or a foot in variation would help.
Have the sent a double instead of king for example?
If a retailer could turn around and say well it wasn’t a remedy but goodwill this interferes with the final right to reject which is infringing on the consumer’s rights.
It’s convenient for them to say it was goodwill now but unless they said it before I think it should be taken as the consumer complained the goods did not conform and a remedy was provided.
I understand your argument that if the retailer has replaced the mattress without examining it, then they could be taken to have accepted that it is faulty. I understand the argument, but I don't agree with it.
I think that for the seller to be given only one chance to repair or replace a faulty item, it's entirely reasonable for them to want to inspect it - especially here where the OP is rejecting the third mattress in a row, and the last two mattresses have both had the same unusual(?) fault.
I'd like to see the OP's photos and measurements so I can better understand what they're complaining about.
If the third mattress (which has been returned to the seller) has the same fault as the second mattress, has the OP suggested to the seller that they inspect the third mattress?
But if it wasn't a remedy and was goodwill, that would be giving the OP rights they aren't entitled to, wouldn't it?
I've got no problem with consumer protection giving consumers an advantage over retailers as a general rule, but this doesn't feel quite right to me.
I'd like to see the photos.
It may be that make of mattress is not made to the same measurements as the bed frame.
OP has not confirmed what the measurements of the mattress are that are faulty. Him saying the tape measure doesnlt lie is not much help.
OP,if you want more help you need to be more specific.
They took the customer's word for it that it was faulty. They sent another. The customer said that was also faulty with the same fault, that nobody else has complained about, and returned it. When they looked at that one they don't think it was faulty. Now they want to look at the first one.
I am not sure why you have a problem with the idea that a court would find this series of events wholly plausible, as do I.
The defence against your claim that it is "infringing on the consumer’s rights" is that it doesn't, because the customer has no rights to reject it as faulty, as there is nothing wrong with it.
Now had they sent it back for a refund as a distance sale because they didn't like it, that would be a completely different matter. But they claim it is faulty because it's not a perfect shape.
What the company have done is mirrored consumer rights and then when it's convenient for them said well actually it was goodwill.
The CRA doesn't say anything about the trader inspecting the goods or having to confirm a fault,etc, it says that the goods are taken to not conform unless otherwise demonstrated, in this instance it wasn't otherwise demonstrated and therefore was taken. In my view mattress 2 is done and dusted and belongs to the company.
If the company was acting under goodwill they should have said so, of course if they did and OP hasn't said then all this is pointless
RE the part in bold, you may say it's a logical conclusion that no one else has complained but it's equally logical others have and that's why they agreed without question, perhaps a faulty batch or perhaps a brand or specific product that known for random faults. You can't say with certainty that no one else has complained in the same way I can't say others have, both are equally plausible in the circumstances.
The OP also hasn't said the company have looked at 3 and told them there's not a problem with it.
It's a long thread so if I'm incorrect on that 2nd point by missing something that was said by OP about the companies response when 3 got back to them then my apologies, if it's your own narrative it goes in the fiction section
What the company should do is inspect mattress 3 when it's returned to them, if they disagree with the claim of it being faulty they should return it to OP (and pick up mattress 2).
You could say 2 & 3 are the same so what's the point and just leave OP with 2 but then who knows if they are actually the same, maybe both are as they are meant to be with regards to the problem OP thinks is present but unknown to anyone 2 will fail before 3 due to a completely different fault hiding away. If OP has 3 back and wishes to disagree they can have it inspected themselves, if they are left with 2 they can't have the mattress that should belong to them and be disputed inspected. By this point the whole thing is ridiculously convoluted.
It should also be remembered that any remedy of repair/replace should be done without significant inconvenience, OP has stated why they don't want an inspection, it would mean 2 days off work (one for the inspection and a second for the collection) and they have no more time off work, that's why the company should have collected it and inspected it before sending 3 and at this point we loop back to "what the company should do is inspect mattress 3 when it's returned to them, if they disagree with the claim of it being faulty they should return it to OP (and pick up mattress 2)."
If they know there is a problem with a faulty batch or specific product why send one out and then get suspicious about the second, when they could have expected a similar problem? I've made that point about 3 times and you won't address it.
And why are you talking about "failing"? The OP says it's an irregular shape. Nobody has suggested anything has failed or will fail.