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  • FIRST POST
    • malc_b
    • By malc_b 29th Aug 12, 1:55 PM
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    malc_b
    Ebuyer - Sale of Goods Act - buyers beware!
    • #1
    • 29th Aug 12, 1:55 PM
    Ebuyer - Sale of Goods Act - buyers beware! 29th Aug 12 at 1:55 PM
    Hi,

    I bought some RAM from Ebuyer in Jan 2012 which failed. Returned this Ebuyer asking for a replacement. Ebuyer confirmed it was faulty but instead of a replacement instead gave me a partial refund (90%) claiming that this was allowed under Sale of Goods act.

    I've a legal helpline with my home insurance so I contacted the duty solicitor there who told me Ebuyer were wrong. Section 48b gives the buyer the choice of repair/replacement/refund. I got the same answer from consumer direct, who also said they would be passing the case on to trading standards. Ebuyer stand by their claim, even though I have the same info from 2 independent legal expert sources. To be fair, as a gesture of good will (or perhaps as I said I would sue and had insurance that covered that) Ebuyer have replaced the RAM. They had the same RAM in stock.

    Ebuyer claim that replacing the RAM is "disproportionate" as per section 48C hence they are allowed to give a partial refund. My solicitor thought this a very unlikely argument to succeed. It is there for such cases as asking for a new car for a faulty 3yr old one, not RAM which has gone up in price by 4, is in stock and only 6 months old. He also though the partial refund was unlikely to succeed either.

    The RAM also had a lifetime warranty, something Ebuyer advertised on the item page but also refused to honour.

    So buyer beware. If anything goes wrong with a purchase from Ebuyer you'll have a fight to get your rights.
Page 2
    • vaio
    • By vaio 30th Aug 12, 6:09 PM
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    vaio
    all part of "deny & lie" which is coming to be the general model for business these days

    Anything that costs them money will be "denied & lied", if 80% of punters accept it (which looking at the posts on here seems a bit low if anything) then they are quids in and can grudgingly do the correct thing for the other 20%.

    I agree with the general thrust of the OP's reading of SOG but it's also worth remembering that SOG is a codified subset of contract law intended to make like easy for consumers but there is nothing to stop disgruntled punters relying on the wider contract law if they need to sue.

    SOG gives the consumer the option of rescinding the contract which places everybody back in the position they would have been in had the contract never existed.

    Wider contract law also allows "enforcement" which puts the buyer in the position he would have been in had the seller performed the contract properly.

    As long as you give the seller the opportunity to sort things out then if they refuse you can source equivalent goods elsewhere and recover the costs (inc consequential costs) from the seller,

    Much the same as if you paid someone 250 to tile your bathroom and he (or she) bug gered it up. To fix it (ie put you in the position you would have been in if the tiler had done a proper job) needs all the new tiles to be removed, new tile to be supplied and fixed together with glue/grout.

    This could well end up costing well in excess of the original 250 but the bad tiler is still liable and can't escape that liability just by giving you back the original 250
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 31st Aug 12, 9:31 AM
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    somethingcorporate
    What you are effectively arguing over is the word "disproportionate" in the legislation. Ebuyer have interpreted it one way, your "lawyer" has interpreted it another it doesn't make either right or wrong aside from your interpretation of it.

    I'd suggest Ebuyer are absolutely in the right given it is over 6 months old and they have fulfilled their requirement under SOGA so any claim from you would ultimately fail. You've had 6 months+ use of RAM and it would cost you ~10% of the value of the RAM. Sounds fair to me.

    Just because your lawyer interprets statute one way does not make them right. Do you think the army of lawyers supporting Samsung's defence against Apple thought they were wrong? There is often legal representation on the losing side in court cases.
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 31st Aug 12, 9:52 AM
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    Zandoni
    You've had 6 months+ use of RAM and it would cost you ~10% of the value of the RAM. Sounds fair to me.
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    I don't think it's fair at all. Usually RAM will last the life of a computer, so in theory the OP is now having to pay 110% fro their RAM.

    If consumers keep accepting this sort of thing, other companies will follow.
    • CoolHotCold
    • By CoolHotCold 31st Aug 12, 10:09 AM
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    CoolHotCold
    I don't think it's fair at all. Usually RAM will last the life of a computer, so in theory the OP is now having to pay 110% fro their RAM.

    If consumers keep accepting this sort of thing, other companies will follow.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    Well go moan to the government to change the laws then. Ebuyer are within their rights under the SoGA to do what they did. Don't blame the companies for acting correctly under current laws.
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 31st Aug 12, 12:16 PM
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    Zandoni
    Well go moan to the government to change the laws then. Ebuyer are within their rights under the SoGA to do what they did. Don't blame the companies for acting correctly under current laws.
    Originally posted by CoolHotCold
    Yes they are acting correctly under the current laws, but I will vote with my feet. Most companies are not.adopting this, but if Ebuyer wants to upset their customers then it's up to them.
    • vaio
    • By vaio 31st Aug 12, 2:02 PM
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    vaio
    I don't think it's fair at all. Usually RAM will last the life of a computer, so in theory the OP is now having to pay 110% fro their RAM.

    If consumers keep accepting this sort of thing, other companies will follow.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    yep, or 120% if the new lot lasts as long as the old lot & 130% if the next lot..... etc etc.

    And that's on something sold with a "lifetime" warranty
    • malc_b
    • By malc_b 31st Aug 12, 2:06 PM
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    malc_b
    Well, as already mentioned, in general terms the information you received from the TS and your solicitor is incorrect, or at the very least only specific to this particular instance. Generally the retailer are well within their rights to offer a partial refund after the "reasonable period" as passed to take into account any usage the buyer has had from the item, so long as this remedy isn't disproportionate to any other remedy.
    Originally posted by neilmcl
    And your qualifications to make this statement are? And doubtless you can point me towards the paragraph in SoGA that says this?

    No offence but since you are saying that the my solicitor, AND, consumer direct are both wrong on a pretty cut and dry case I'd like some justification as to why I believe you and not those experts. And I'd like to see something online to back up what you say, say in SoGA.

    But, either way, as others have pointed out even if this is actually legal then you can still vote with your credit card and buy off someone else with the more common customer service where items get repaired/replaced within 1 year.
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 31st Aug 12, 2:07 PM
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    somethingcorporate
    Well they won't end up paying 110% for their next set of RAM because it should last 6 months than the one they bought previously.

    So they get lifetime + 6 months worth of RAM for 6months + cost of RAM.

    Seems fair?
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 31st Aug 12, 2:08 PM
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    somethingcorporate
    And your qualifications to make this statement are? And doubtless you can point me towards the paragraph in SoGA that says this?

    No offence but since you are saying that the my solicitor, AND, consumer direct are both wrong I'd like some justification as to why I believe you and not those experts. And I'd like to see something online to back up what you say, say in SoGA.

    But, either way, as others have pointed out if this is actually legal then you can still vote with your credit card and buy off someone else with the more common customer service where items get repaired/replaced within 1 year.
    Originally posted by malc_b
    Did you read my post about legal opinions? Same as doctors - get 10 in a room and you'll get 10 different responses.

    SOGA for a proportionate reduction you can google yourself or read the FAQs at the top of the forum - it's in there.

    Edit: Here is the CAB guide: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_common_problems_with_products_e/faulty_goods_e/faulty_goods.htm

    and more specifically here:

    http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_common_problems_with_products_e/consumer_what_you_can_do_about_faulty_goods_e/faulty_goods_-_if_you_want_your_money_back.htm

    That says you are only entitled to a partial refund:

    "When you won't be able to get your money back

    It’s unlikely you’ll be able to get a full refund if you have accepted the goods. This means that you've either:
    • kept the goods for too long before telling the trader, or
    • treated the goods as your own – for example by trying to repair or change the goods yourself in some way.
    If you aren't entitled to a full refund for one of these reasons, you may be entitled to get some of your money back, or to a repair or replacement instead."
    Last edited by somethingcorporate; 31-08-2012 at 2:12 PM.
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 31st Aug 12, 2:38 PM
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    wealdroam
    And your qualifications to make this statement are? And doubtless you can point me towards the paragraph in SoGA that says this?

    No offence but since you are saying that the my solicitor, AND, consumer direct are both wrong on a pretty cut and dry case I'd like some justification as to why I believe you and not those experts. And I'd like to see something online to back up what you say, say in SoGA.

    But, either way, as others have pointed out even if this is actually legal then you can still vote with your credit card and buy off someone else with the more common customer service where items get repaired/replaced within 1 year.
    Originally posted by malc_b
    And as well as Somethingcorporate's response, here is a link to the Sale of Goods Act 1979 Part 5A.

    Sections 48A and 48B are about the remedies available and that you cannot force a 'disproportionate' remedy.

    Section 48C is perhaps that bit you are asking for...
    Reduction of purchase price or rescission of contract
    (1)If section 48A above applies, the buyer may—
    (a)require the seller to reduce the purchase price of the goods in question to the buyer by an appropriate amount, or
    (b)rescind the contract with regard to those goods,
    if the condition in subsection (2) below is satisfied.
    (2)The condition is that—
    (a)by virtue of section 48B(3) above the buyer may require neither repair nor replacement of the goods; or
    (b)the buyer has required the seller to repair or replace the goods, but the seller is in breach of the requirement of section 48B(2)(a) above to do so within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the buyer.
    (3)For the purposes of this Part, if the buyer rescinds the contract, any reimbursement to the buyer may be reduced to take account of the use he has had of the goods since they were delivered to him.
    In particular, note the last sentence.
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 31st Aug 12, 2:57 PM
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    Zandoni
    Well they won't end up paying 110% for their next set of RAM because it should last 6 months than the one they bought previously.

    So they get lifetime + 6 months worth of RAM for 6months + cost of RAM.

    Seems fair?
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    RAM shouldn't fail at all, so they are paying 110% so it's not fair.
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 31st Aug 12, 2:59 PM
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    bod1467
    IIRC malc_b has already used that same section previously to argue HIS point ... note the words "if the buyer rescinds" in that last paragraph.

    /devils advocate
    • CoolHotCold
    • By CoolHotCold 31st Aug 12, 3:17 PM
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    CoolHotCold
    You are right Bod1467, however I read it to say if it is impossible to repair or replace, or is disproportionatly costly (e.g price has risen including P&P to and from the buyer) than the only other option is for the buyer to either have a appropriate reduction in the purchase price, or for the buyer to rescinds the contract.


    I suppose hypothetically, the buyer can refuse, but that will just gridlock the process, as the seller can't repair, and isn't willing to exchange/replace as even if the price is diffrent the seller will be out of pocket, so all thats left is the buyer to say "Ok, i'll take my money back", if he doesn't the seller can go "Well I followed the law, and need the buyers acceptance to rescind the contract" and the end result is the seller keeps the money and the buyer is stuck with faulty goods. I suppose most companies work on a assumed acceptance in that if buyer gets money in their account they accept to rescind, if they don't further complain, or say "Hang on, I'm not receding the contract"
    Last edited by CoolHotCold; 31-08-2012 at 3:20 PM.
    • bod1467
    • By bod1467 31st Aug 12, 3:34 PM
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    bod1467
    I agree - the words are clear but the meaning is not; quite ambiguous IMHO.
    • somethingcorporate
    • By somethingcorporate 31st Aug 12, 3:43 PM
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    somethingcorporate
    RAM shouldn't fail at all, so they are paying 110% so it's not fair.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    An item would never be expected to last forever and I doubt a court would agree with you that it should.

    I'd suggest that a lifetime of RAM would be 5-6 years. I have had RAM last much longer and RAM be dead on arrival.

    They've got what they paid for. 6 months use for a certain cost and some new ram that will last them 6 months longer than the previous would (regardless of how long it lasts). Although I have explained this point twice and know you understand what I am saying I guess we'll agree to disagree.
    Thinking critically since 1996....
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 31st Aug 12, 3:47 PM
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    Zandoni
    An item would never be expected to last forever and I doubt a court would agree with you that it should.

    I'd suggest that a lifetime of RAM would be 5-6 years. I have had RAM last much longer and RAM be dead on arrival.

    They've got what they paid for. 6 months use for a certain cost and some new ram that will last them 6 months longer than the previous would (regardless of how long it lasts). Although I have explained this point twice and know you understand what I am saying I guess we'll agree to disagree.
    Originally posted by somethingcorporate
    We will have to agree to disagree, but RAM is a very reliable component, and only fails rarely.

    So I think it's unfair and you think it is, no worries.
    • neilmcl
    • By neilmcl 31st Aug 12, 4:22 PM
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    neilmcl
    And your qualifications to make this statement are? And doubtless you can point me towards the paragraph in SoGA that says this?

    No offence but since you are saying that the my solicitor, AND, consumer direct are both wrong on a pretty cut and dry case I'd like some justification as to why I believe you and not those experts. And I'd like to see something online to back up what you say, say in SoGA.

    But, either way, as others have pointed out even if this is actually legal then you can still vote with your credit card and buy off someone else with the more common customer service where items get repaired/replaced within 1 year.
    Originally posted by malc_b
    Clearly you didn't read or understand my post properly. I said in general terms their advice was incorrect or at least "specific to this particular instance". Therefor I tend to be in agreement with you that in this specific case, with the cost margins being so low that a replacement over a partial refund would probably not be classed as disproportionate. But, as I also said, which is backed up by the legislation as linked by yourself and others, the seller is entitled to offer partial refunds.
    • CoolHotCold
    • By CoolHotCold 31st Aug 12, 4:33 PM
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    CoolHotCold
    Neilmcl, I would say that unless the OP says what the original price paid was you cannot say if it was disproportionate.

    What if the RAM was 20? replacement RAM would cost 24, which is a 20% increase, and you have to add on postal charges back and forth.
  • Looksguywalker
    We will have to agree to disagree, but RAM is a very reliable component, and only fails rarely.

    So I think it's unfair and you think it is, no worries.
    Originally posted by Zandoni
    Very reliable I agree but can fail due to enduser mishandelling, eg static?
    • Zandoni
    • By Zandoni 31st Aug 12, 10:06 PM
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    Zandoni
    Very reliable I agree but can fail due to enduser mishandelling, eg static?
    Originally posted by Looksguywalker
    Extremely rare in my experience.
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