What are my rights

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willspal | 19:49 Fri 05th May 2006 | Shopping & Style
9 Answers

I bought my husband a Briel Watch for his B/day at a cost of �190.00 and its just come back from its 3rd visit back to the shop to be mended. Now I see its just not going at all, the man in the shop set it at the right time and its stuck at that.

I was never happy about it being repaired as the 1st time he had only had it 2 months and I wanted a brand new watch but he sent it off to be repaired so I excepted that thinking it was fixed.

Its been in that shop longer than its been on his wrist and on Monday I will have to take it back again but I would like to know my rights before I blow a gasget and show myself up.

Can I insist on a brand new watch, what are my rights in this case. It was only bought last September so not yet 1 year old. I still have the guarantee (2 years)



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In short it appears the watch "was not of merchantable quality". As far as I know you are entitled to a replacement or your money back. Call your local Consumer Advice place and get the facts before you go back to the shop. Sometimes a call from the Consumer Advice people works wonders.
If the fault appeared within the first six months you were entitled to a refund, if it did not, the onus is on you to prove it was faulty. you have accepted a repair however and this was the first mistake if it was within the first six months. You probably should get at least an exchange, i know that would be my solution at work. Tho I don't sell watches, but i work next to the jewellery counter and they often do replace or refund watches within the first year but only after the manufacturer has condemned them.
(2-part post):

Your right to a cash refund ceased to exist at the point when you were deemed to have legally 'accepted' the watch. (This would have been well before the end of the 2 month period for which the watch worked normally).

After you've accepted goods, you have the right to expect the retailer to rectify any faults for up to 6 years. (There are some provisions related to that statement but they're not relevant here). In general, however, the law permits a retailer to decide whether faulty goods should be repaired or replaced. (i.e. you do not normally have the right to demand a new watch).

Despite the general provisions of the law, you might now have acquired reasonable grounds for demanding a replacement. This is because, whatever means of rectifying a problem is chosen by a reatailer, you should not suffer excessive loss or inconvenience because of it. It seems that the retailer's repeated decisions to attempt repairs are leading to a great deal of inconvenience to you and your husband. (If you also have to keep driving into town and then paying for parking, there are also financial losses to be taken into account).

I suggest stating politely but firmly that you have previously accepted the retailer's decisions to attempt repairs but you now regard the only reasonable solution to be the provision of a new watch. If the retailer does not agree, advise him that you will refer the matter both to Trading Standards and to the local press. (Trading Standards is, of course, the 'official' route but the threat of bad publicity often works better!).

Whatever else you do, don't accept any suggestion by the retailer that you should claim under the manufacturer's guarantee. Your dispute is with the retailer not the manufacturer. (Remind the retailer that, if he acquired the watch from a reputable supplier, he should be able to make his own claim against that supplier).

To summarise:
1. You don't have the right to a cash refund.
2. You didn't have the right to demand a new watch when you first took the watch back.
3. You might have acquired the right to demand a new watch now because the retailer has repeatedly failed to rectify the fault through repairs.
4. Be polite but insist that the retailer rectifies the situation immediately and finally by providing a new watch.
5. Be prepared to follow through with threats of contacting Trading Standards or the local media. (As well as the press, some BBC local radio stations are interested in matters where they can be seen to 'champion the consumer').

Good luck!

As an addendum, you can view a summary of the key facts about the legislation covering the sale and supply of goods here.
Buenchico that lot is so not what we actually go by at work, we use the latest legislation and none of that is anywhere close! sorry! (i feel really 'orrible sayin that and I bet i am wrong, but we use the sale of goods act and all addendas so not sure what else there is)
For Dot (who, for once, doesn't seem to be an 'imposterer' :-) )

Take a look at the link above, provided by the wonderful Kempie, to the DTI's website. I think that you might find that the content seems remarkably similar to the essential elements of my post. Perhaps you should show a copy to your employer? :-)

All the advice is great and the only thing I would add, between asking for a new watch and threatening the trading standards or press, is ask to discuss the matter with the shop manager (if you haven't already!). You can then also ask for head office address and write to them too if you're still not satisfied. Stay polite if you can, but often people who shout and scream abuse get what they want, purely because the shop just wants to get rid of them!
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Thankyou so so much to everyone who gave such great advise.

I went into the shop armed with facts and my rights and today he has ordered a brand new watch without me even having to raise my voice once. That has to be a result.

I think even he was sick of seeing my face in his shop.

So a million thanks to all you super people.


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