£4000 OLED TV develops serious fault after 18 months - £660 repair.

As per my title, I purchased a nearly £4000 TV directly from LG's web store. It sat in its box for a while as it wasn't ready for installation. It was installed in May 2022, and by September 2023, it had developed a fault with a horizontal white line right down the middle of the screen.

It was less than 2 years since purchase and had not much use - but I knew LG's extended warranty only covered for 1 year and then the subsequent 4 years covered the panel, but you had to pay for labour. I booked it in for repair and was quoted £660, which seemed excessive.

I considered my consumer rights: "goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described." A fault occurring in such a short timeframe on a high-value product clearly does not meet the criteria of 'satisfactory quality.' I'd consider a serious fault with the panel in such an expensive television as not really fit for purpose.

However, to make that claim, it would have to be against the store that sold it - lg.com. However, Digital River Ireland Limited operates that store, and they appear to run the store for Sennheiser and other brands in the UK too.

Contacting them about this, you just get the reply to contact LG. LG the manufacturer doesn't even seem to be aware of Digital River. In fact, I sent them my invoice which says "Digital River" at the top and they told me I didn't buy it from LG but from Digital River.

I'm probably clutching at straws at this point, but have I got any grounds for a claim under consumer rights - and if so, how on earth am I doing it against Digital River who just appear to wash their hands of the matter with messages like "Digital River is an authorized reseller of LG. We resell LG’s products through our website. However, customer service for LG is no longer handled at this location.

For any concerns regarding your order, please contact LG customer service directly for assistance, as they are now providing their own customer service."

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on whether I have any avenue worth pursuing, or if I'll just have to give up and soak up the cost.

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Comments

  • the_lunatic_is_in_my_head
    the_lunatic_is_in_my_head Posts: 7,277
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    edited 22 November 2023 at 10:52AM
    Did you buy from here OP:

    https://www.lg.com/uk/

    I don't see anything in the terms about Digital River Ireland Limited although a couple of Google results suggest Digital River Ireland Limited handle payments (perhaps to send funds through Ireland where corporation tax is cheaper).  

    The LG site linked to above says:

    https://www.lg.com/uk/legal/

    "Any reference to we, us or our, refers to:

    LG Electronics U.K. Limited with company registration number 02143888 and registered office which is at Velocity 2, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL."

  • Very surprised that buying directly from LG was the best price; they are regularly undercut by high street names like JL and RicherSounds even before looking at obscure internet only sellers.

    You need to check the invoice you got for the purchase and see who it identifies as the retailer.

    Did you buy from here OP:

    https://www.lg.com/uk/

    I don't see anything in the terms about Digital River Ireland Limited although a couple of Google results suggest Digital River Ireland Limited handle payments (perhaps to send funds through Ireland where corporation tax is cheaper).  

    The LG site linked to above says:

    https://www.lg.com/uk/legal/

    "Any reference to we, us or our, refers to:

    LG Electronics U.K. Limited with company registration number 02143888 and registered office which is at Velocity 2, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, KT13 0SL."

    Go further into adding an item into the basket and you then get Terms of Sale which has:

    https://store.digitalriver.com/store/defaults/en_GB/DisplayDRTermsAndConditionsPage/eCommerceProvider.Digital+River+UK+Ltd.

    They're not the easiest terms to read but if you look under the international section it does say in England and Wales you have the 6 years years consumer rights against Digital River. Most is dealt with by their London office
  • Very surprised that buying directly from LG was the best price; they are regularly undercut by high street names like JL and RicherSounds even before looking at obscure internet only sellers.
    Weirdly they have been a few times now, including for the washer and dyer I got them - it's mainly due to the discount vouchers they offer though - including the 5% members discount which you can stack on top of whatever else they're doing.

    Here's the top of the invoice I actually received. 



    A lovely section 13 on their website states

    "Section 13: Warranty Except where required by law, or otherwise indicated by us in writing, we offer no warranty on the products and services we sell. We make no statements as to the quality, fitness for a specific purpose, performance, correspondence with description, software installation, configuration, or error or defect correction. You will receive the benefit of any warranty offered by the manufacturer, licensor, or supplier of the product or services in connection with the sale. For details of any warranty applicable to your purchase, refer to the relevant documentation supplied with the product or on the Site where you purchased your product or service. This documentation may also contain the procedures applicable to the repair or replacement of defective products."

    Did you buy from here OP:

    https://www.lg.com/uk/
    That's right yes.

    The only contact i've managed to find for Digital River is [email protected] in which they sent me the reply above to speak to LG.

    I'm not sure where to go from here, do I even have a leg to stand on? And if I do, who am I pursuing and how?
  • I linked the T&Cs for buying on LG and it states:

    If a product does not conform to the contract, you have the right to (1) ask us to bring the goods into conformity free of charge by either repairing or replacing the product; (2) a price reduction; or (3) rescind the contract with regards to any non-conforming goods. You may not be entitled to repair or replacement if repair or replacement is impossible or the cost disproportionate to the cost of an alternative remedy.

    It does give a UK postal address and another email address which goes to their "EU" section (clearly terms haven't been updated for Brexit yet) 

    Your challenge for now is getting into the right part of Digital River...and stop talking about Warranties, you are talking about your statutory rights which is a separate thing to a warranty!
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,329
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    edited 22 November 2023 at 1:41PM
    You don't want to be quoting your warranty if your issue is covered by your (normally better) consumer rights. 

    Write to them with reference to the consumer rights act (either section 9 or 10, and s23) that you are seeking a repair or replacement (at their cost). 

    They may respond that you need to get an independent report that the fault was inherent/a manufacturing problem vs you damaging it in storage. 

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/10/enacted

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/23/enacted
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  • Here's the meat of my next message to them, do we think this is ok? I have asked if it doesn't reach the Digital River London office via email (as I suspect it won't) that they forward it onto someone there who can deal with. I suppose i'll need to send a physical letter too though.

    "Unfortunately, the TV has developed a serious fault: a white horizontal line down the centre of the screen. This issue arose in September 2023 and significantly impacts the usability of the product.

    According to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, specifically Sections 9, 10, and 23, I am entitled to request a remedy for goods that are not of satisfactory quality, not fit for purpose, or not as described at the time of purchase. The TV's current condition clearly violates these stipulations.

    Additionally, according to the terms of sale provided by Digital River Limited, there is a 2-year guarantee that the products conform to the contract. Given that the fault appeared within this period, I am seeking a repair or replacement of the TV at your expense.

    I understand that you may require an independent report to confirm that the fault was inherent or a manufacturing issue, and I am willing to facilitate this if necessary. However, I trust that given the nature of the fault and its occurrence within the guarantee period, we can resolve this matter expediently."
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,542
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    OP. What was the site you bought from?
    As Digital River is a payment processer. Just like PayPal. They are Not a retailer.

    So if you are citing Consumer rights. You need to be looking at the company you bought from, not in this case DR who simply take the payment.

    https://www.digitalriver.com/
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  • realdannys
    realdannys Posts: 39
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    edited 22 November 2023 at 5:34PM
    eskbanker said:
    "Unfortunately, the TV has developed a serious fault: a white horizontal line down the centre of the screen....
    A trivial point in the overall scheme of things, but surely a horizontal line would be across the centre of the screen, i.e. a vertical one would be down it?

    You're right, doh...

    OP. What was the site you bought from?
    As Digital River is a payment processer. Just like PayPal. They are Not a retailer.

    So if you are citing Consumer rights. You need to be looking at the company you bought from, not in this case DR who simply take the payment.

    https://www.digitalriver.com/
    Is this the case? Are they like Adyen? I don't think they are just a payment provider though are they? They have terms of sale with them, they provide an invoice with THEIR address on it.


    "Digital River, Inc. and its subsidiaries is a world-class online global reseller services provider. We provide essential compliance, fraud, tax and payment services to the suppliers and manufacturer of goods and services. When we make products and service rights available for sale, we do so in our name as an authorized reseller on behalf of our clients. Digital River, Inc. and the subsidiary that handles your purchase are controllers of any personal data processed in connection with your transaction.

    Below is a list of Digital River subsidiaries that may handle your purchase. Regardless of which subsidiary handles your purchase, you can contact us at [email protected]."


    They call themselves the reseller. So as far as i'm concerned they are the online store, the shop, the supplier, the seller and the payment provider. LG just provide them with stock and a website I guess. These run the backend of that website.

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,329
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    edited 22 November 2023 at 9:34PM
    I wouldn't include the last paragraph about the independent engineer... if they come back to you asking for one then they do, but no need to volunteer. 

    If you have a valid public email address then no need to pay for a letter - email is counted as a 'durable medium'. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
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