Thursday 19 March 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I bought a TV set from a furniture store at the end of November 2008 on store credit. The TV worked for only one and half months and then it packed up. I gave them back the TV on 20th January and they promised to look into it. They have not come back to me more than a month later. They have not given me a temporary replacement as is normal practice with most shops.

Please advise me of the next thing to do. What is the normal process in cases like this?

I think you need to start getting assertive with this store.

However, first things first. Whatever happens, no matter how frustrating it might be, no matter how angry you get, you must NOT stop making your monthly payments. You must remember that the monthly repayments and the broken TV are actually totally separate things. I know it sounds difficult but if you stop making the payments YOU will be the one in the wrong. It will be YOU that breached the credit agreement and who will end up with a bad credit record at TransUnion ITC.

You signed a credit agreement that binds you for a certain period. If you breach that agreement you will end up owing extra money in interest and they may have the right to demand all the outstanding money in one lump sum.

However, that has nothing to do with your right to DEMAND that they fix your TV as soon as possible. They sold you a TV that was not of “merchantable quality” as required by the Consumer Protection Regulations 2001. Clearly, unless you mistreated the TV, it wasn’t good enough.

You have a right, an absolute, inalienable, non-negotiable right to a TV. Obviously if the store was just going to have the TV for a day or two it might be a bit much to ask for a replacement TV on loan. However, the fact that you’ve been without your TV for over a month is totally unacceptable. They have really let you down.

I suggest that you write to the store and give them four choices.

Choice 1. They give you your TV back immediately. So long as it’s working perfectly.
Choice 2. They give you a temporary TV that is at least as good as your TV while they finish repairing it.
Choice 3. They replace your TV with another at least as good.
Choice 4. They can look forward to a visit from a Voice reporter and photographer, shortly followed by a news item about how they disrespect both the law and their customers.

Give them a week to make their choice. We’ll have the reporter and the photographer ready to go!

Advice on store credit

Visit our web site for comprehensive advice on how to deal with store credit if you have no option but to buy on credit.

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