Friday 11 January 2008

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer's Voice

I recently went to a furniture shop and I wanted to buy a fridge for cash. However I was told that if I buy on cash there is no guarantee and whatever happens to the fridge after they deliver they wont help me, so I ended up buying on credit. Once it was delivered I realised that the fridge wasn’t working properly so I took it back to the furniture shop and they gave me a temporary replacement.

However is it true that if I buy furniture for cash then there is no guarantee on the goods?

This is all very hard to believe. Any reputable store will offer a warranty or a guarantee for the products they sell, regardless of how you pay for them. If this was a major retailer the salesperson was either mistaken or lying. Either that or there’s been a huge misunderstanding.

However to some extent this doesn’t matter. If a product is sold new then the Consumer Protection Regulations demand that it must be of "merchantable quality". That means it must be "fit for the purposes for which commodities of that kind are usually purchased". Regardless of whether they offered you a warranty it wasn't of merchantable quality so you can expect a replacement or a repair and that’s what you seem to be getting.

Also, regardless of whether you bought it for cash or on credit the merchantable quality rule still applies. Check the paperwork you got when you bought it and see what it says. Somewhere it will surely have warranty details.

We’ll get in contact with the store for you and see what they have to say for themselves.

The lesson for consumers is not to get smart-talked into a decision you know you’ll regret. If a salesperson says something that you suspect is untrue or you think is unreasonable get them to put it in writing. At least then you have ammunition for the battle that will later commence!

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