18 month old moped, I now have to pay for the alarm to work!

Hi, first post, new to MSE.

This is for my electric moped, a Silence S01 Connected, 18 months old.

A week ago I discovered that the alarm on my Silence S01 Connected was not working. When I took my phone out to ensure that it is turned on I discovered that all the 'connected' features of the bike now requires a monthly subscription and this includes the bikes alarm. The bike has Bluetooth, this has also been turned off by Silence. The bike I purchased 18 months ago is now a very different bike and a lessor model. They have removed all the 'Connected' features from my bike, features that I had paid a premium for. I have no idea if I have any legal recourse, I have asked on reddit and they say yes. But I wanted to ask here before I ring a solicitor (one that I have used in the past). Don't want to spend 100's pounds to discover I am out of luck.

What do you think? It's a bit of an odd situation to have features removed without warning.


Many thanks,
Richard.

Comments

  • powerful_Rogue
    powerful_Rogue Posts: 7,465
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    What do the T&C's say?
    I've got a vehicle which came with connected services free for 3 years. After that it was subscription based.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,384
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    Hi, first post, new to MSE.

    This is for my electric moped, a Silence S01 Connected, 18 months old.

    A week ago I discovered that the alarm on my Silence S01 Connected was not working. When I took my phone out to ensure that it is turned on I discovered that all the 'connected' features of the bike now requires a monthly subscription and this includes the bikes alarm. The bike has Bluetooth, this has also been turned off by Silence. The bike I purchased 18 months ago is now a very different bike and a lessor model. They have removed all the 'Connected' features from my bike, features that I had paid a premium for. I have no idea if I have any legal recourse, I have asked on reddit and they say yes. But I wanted to ask here before I ring a solicitor (one that I have used in the past). Don't want to spend 100's pounds to discover I am out of luck.

    What do you think? It's a bit of an odd situation to have features removed without warning.


    Many thanks,
    Richard.
    Did the original sale come with services only for a set period of time?
  • Mr.Generous
    Mr.Generous Posts: 3,257
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    edited 12 February at 10:41PM
    My current and last car had a 12 month free app connectivity, once that period is up you either subscribe (£40 odd quid) or do without. I like the remote lock / unlock so I subscribe. When you purchased the bike what did theT&C's say about the app? I must say I've looked at the website (neat scoot) and they make no mention of the conectivity - advertised as a feature - being a temporary thing. The site quotes finance prices over 5 years so I'd argue the vehicle should performed as advertised for the price quoted - with no extra app fee.
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,332
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    edited 12 February at 11:41PM

    But I wanted to ask here before I ring a solicitor (one that I have used in the past). Don't want to spend 100's pounds to discover I am out of luck.

    Hi Richard,

    Welcome to MSE - pull up a seat as we might debate this back and forth for a while and will certainly need more info/clarification from you at various stages. 

    My first batch of questions would be: 

    1. Do you have a link to/copy of the original advertising material and how did it refer to the connected services (was there actually a cheaper model without those services)? 
    2. How much was it and how did you pay? 
    3. Have you tried talking to the company yet? 
    4. Did you buy it directly from the manufacturer or via a retailer? 

    Other than that, I would strongly suggest holding off on the solicitor (or anything that costs money) at this point - if it ends up in small claims you generally can't claim legal fees and the whole system is set up that you shouldn't need legal advice - If you can gather the evidence to support your claim, then it's a fairly simple contractual/consumer rights issue that's designed for individuals to do without specialist knowledge. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Thanks for the feedback everyone. I need to go throw all my paperwork from when I purchased the bike to ensure they did not hide the limited period of the services. If the Bluetooth and alarm still worked I would not have cared about the loss of the internet connection. It's the loss of the alarm that has annoyed me the most as I now have to inform my insurance and this will push my premium up. I have looked at the UK disturbers site and the manufactures current sites and I can find no mention of the features being for a limited period. What I do need to do, using Wayback machine, is find a copy of the site from the time I purchased the bike.

    I am prepared for the possibility that I missed that it was going to become a subscription. For now, I am sure it was not made clear to me. And it does look they never said it will become a subscription.

    Reply to ArbitraryRandom
    1) No I do not, I will try to find it all later today. (very bust at work). They do many models and this was their top of the line model and the only (at the time) with these features.
    2) £5600 and I paid cash
    3) Yes, and they have been giving me the run around. I've been chasing them on another issue for three months now.
    4) It was purchased from the official UK disturber, silenceUK.

    Yes, I knew about not able claim costs back (which is bad). This game they are playing is a wider industry trend. I use a moped as I don't need a car (work from home), I am now thinking of going back to a pushbike. Sometimes, the only way to win is not to play their game.

    Many thanks,
    Richard

  • LightFlare
    LightFlare Posts: 378
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    edited 13 February at 8:40AM
    https://www.silence.eco/en/faqs/

    What features come as standard
    says included for 3 years but then the asterisk states for only models bought in 2020. Nothing about any other purchase period

    I would contact the company and ask them as a first stage - ask them to point you in the right direction of any relevant T&Cs

    18 months is a strange period of time

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,332
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    edited 13 February at 9:20AM
    Okay, so I'd also appreciate you checking your documents for if you see "Wharfdale Leisure Ltd, doing business as Silence UK" (as that's what's in their T&Cs) - if they're the retailer you purchased from then they're the ones that you can hold liable for any issues under your UK consumer rights. 

    To confirm: 
    GOVERNING LAW

    These conditions are governed by and interpreted following the laws of the United Kingdom, and the use of the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded. If your habitual residence is in the EU, and you are a consumer, you additionally possess the protection provided to you by obligatory provisions of the law of your country of residence. Wharfdale Leisure Ltd and yourself both agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England, which means that you may make a claim to defend your consumer protection rights in regards to these Conditions of Use in the United Kingdom, or in the EU country in which you reside.


    DISPUTE RESOLUTION

    The European Commission provides an online dispute resolution platform, which you can access here: https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr. If you would like to bring this subject to our attention, please contact us. 
    If this matches your paperwork it's important you make sure you're talking to the right people - contact info given as: 

    Wharfdale Leisure Ltd
    Marlow House, 310 Haslucks Green Rd, Shirley, Solihull B90 2NE, UK
    Shirley, England B90 2NE
    United Kingdom
    Phone: (+44)0330 3905656

    Info from the manufacturer can be used to illustrate what you bought/the promises made, but it's worth checking the UK site as well as sometimes the language used/commitment made can be slightly different due to differences in the franchise agreement or what they're required by local law to say. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • Thank you ArbitraryRandom for looking at this with me. :) Yes this is the same company.

    This evening I have taken copies of all emails and all documents I have, I have also taken a backup (print as pdf) of their site as the time I purchased the bike and the current version. I can see no mention of needing a subscription at a later date.

    At the time of purchase there was a cheaper model called the Silence S01 Urban. This looks identical to my Silence S01 Connected but has four differences. It does not come with the connected features, has no alarm, has a top speed of 52 vs 62 of mine and a range of 62 miles vs the 80 mile range of mine.

    I will now go investigate the manufactures site. I will also download the transcripts of two of the most popular review videos too so I can see if they take about needing a subscription service. I need to be very sure that this info on the subscription service was not available at the time I purchased. These videos, that I watched before buying, if they say that it well be a subscription in the future then that could give them a chance to slip out of it. Would weaken any case I have.

    Many thanks.


  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,565
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    It maybe that this is something to take up with manufacture, as guess that it is them that have pulled the feature & made it a subscription.
    Most likely found out it is costing them far more than they thought it would.
    Life in the slow lane
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