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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a hearing impairment, so I listen to my TV via wireless

Customer Question

I have a hearing impairment, so I listen to my TV via wireless headphones. Since, as with most TVs, plugging the headphones into the TV cuts out the loudspeakers, I therefore use a digital-to-analogue converter connected to the optical audio output of the TV. On all of my other TVs, two of which are manufactured by LG, this works well, and the rest of the family can listen via the loudspeakers while I listen on my headphones.
Six weeks ago, I bought another LG TV. This model, however, also cuts out the loudspeaker output when the optical audio output is used. This means, of course, that either the volume must be turned up to a deafening level so that I can hear it, or else only I can hear it if I plug my headphones in.
I spoke to LG about this and was told that they have had a great number of complaints about this very problem.
My question is this: would a design change which limits what might reasonably be expected based on previous experience of LG TVs, constitute an inherent fault?
In other words, can I return the TV as not suitable for purpose and ask for another model which does not have this problem.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Steve555 replied 3 years ago.
Hello there and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be assisting you today. I am an engineer with over 30 years of electrical and electronic training, repair and installation experience. I will try and answer your question accurately and precisely so that we can get you on your way.

Now..I may be able to help you here with a workaround. Tell me...how do you receive your TV signals?

Please let me know so that we can continue.

Regards
Steve
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The TV has direct aerial connection for FreeView.


All other inputs - three HDMIs and one SCART - are connected to various sources - FreeSat, Virgin Cable and DVD players.


The problem, however is not related to any of thses inputs, only to the fact that a design change has robbed the TV of an audio output which works on all the other TVs in the house.


I should mention that, although I am long retired - being in my late 70s - I spent my entire working life in the electronics industry so I believe I have considered all the likely work arounds.


This is simply a question of whether such a design change renders a product 'unfit for purpose'. If so, I should be able to return it to the retailer and ask for a replacement which allows me to listen via the optical audio output while the family listens via the loudspeakers.


Regards,


Bryan Darby

Expert:  Steve555 replied 3 years ago.
I'm not sure I can answer that. It's more of a legal issue.

I'll opt out and maybe see if our UK law guys can take a look at it for you.

Regards
Steve
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for trying, anyway.


Regards,


Bryan.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi,


I would have thought that this was a simple legal question. That is, if a product is not suitable for the stated purpose due to a design change which is not pointed out at the point of purchase, does the customer have the same right to return the goods as unsuitable for purpose as he would if he had simply been supplied with the wrong product? Manufacturers make changes to the specification of products all the time. This normally leads to improvements in the product. In this instance, the manufacturer has changed something which has featured traditionally in previous versions of the product. It was only upon getting the TV home and setting it up that the problem became apparent. According to the manufacturer's representative with whom I spoke, it has proved unpopular with a large number of customers.


It is not a fault in the design ‘per se’, but a change in the design which has the same effect that would be experienced had it been faulty. Does this give the customer the same legal rights that would apply if the goods had an inherent fault?


Sorry to be so long-winded but I feel it was necessary.


Regards,


Bryan Darby.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello Bryan,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

What date did you buy the product please? Was it purchased online? Did you pay with a credit card please?


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm sorry but I can't see the relevance of these questions.


I bought the TV in the local branch of Richer Sounds about six weeks ago and I paid for it with a credit card. I always do this because it gives me extra cover in case of a problem.


If the product had been faulty, I am aware of my rights under the Sale of Goods Act and would not have raised the question.


All I am asking is - if a design change presents a problem which, if it were a fault, would allow a claim to be made, do I have the same right to return the TV since the new design does not my requirements. The change was only discovered after I had bought the TV. Had I known that such a problem had now been designed in, I would not have bought the set.


Can I return the set under the Sale of Goods Act?


Regards,


Bryan Darby.


 

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
If the product is not as described, of suitable quality or fit for purpose then yes you would have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Therefore if it was described to you in writing or verbally that it would work with your system then you would have a claim. If it was not discussed and you did not ask then a change in design does not mean the product is faulty and that would mean you could return it on that basis and only relying in the stores goodwill.

As you have waited 6 weeks, I know some stores like Argos allow you to return goods for any reason within 28 days, so you would need to check with Richer Sounds. But given you have waited 6 weeks it may be that you have taken too long to discover this design change and they may not accept a return. But well done for buying expensive items on credit cards as it does give you extra cover.

I am sorry if this may not be the answer you want and is certainly not the one I want to give, but I have a duty to be honest. Can I clarify anything about this for you today please? Alex


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