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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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On 14/06/14 we bought a TV from Argos and we have since noticed

Customer Question

On 14/06/14 we bought a TV from Argos and we have since noticed that the purchase is exempt from the ARGOS guarantee.

Technically there is nothing wrong with the TV. However we are not satisified with the quality of the picture and sound. The picture is too dark and the sound tinney.It may be that the quality is OK for Hitachi but it is not the quality that we expected.

We would like to return the TV in its original packing for a full refund so that we can view and buy a different make of TV , if necessary, from another retailer.

We would add that Argos do not have demonstration models to view before purchase and we were in effect buying the TV blind, assuming wrongly, that it would be up to the standard and quality that should be expected from a recognised manufacturer.

Can you please advise us of our rights.

Many Thanks Don & Barbara Shipp
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, thank you for your question. My name is Tony, and I should be able to assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

This is slightly difficult. If the TV itself is nothing technically wrong with it, they argue be, it works perfectly on what you've got is what you paid for. However, it may be possible to argue that the quality of the product itself renders the TV of an unsatisfactory quality, thereby breaching the term under section 14 of the sale of goods act 1979. This requires that any goods sold to you are of "satisfactory quality".

tdlawyer :

The problem of course is working out whether or not the quality is satisfactory, taking into account the specification of the TV and the amount paid for it. This is the kind of problem that would normally require expert evidence, from people involved, in this case, the TV sales industry.

tdlawyer :

I expect, that you will find it difficult to have any right to reject the TV, or at least the outcome if you proceed to court would be very uncertain.

tdlawyer :

If you purchased the TV online, or via some form of distance communication (e.g. by telephone, e-mail or website) then you have a short period in which to return the goods, but this will not apply where you attended a store to purchase.

tdlawyer :

I see that you have rated my service poor. Can I ask why this is so please?

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

Thank you for your reply. However you have only confirmed what I already knew.

tdlawyer :

Confirming what you suspect the case may be, can be incredibly useful. The answer I have given is, however, an accurate statement of the law.

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

Thank you for your reply however you have only confirmed whay we already knew.

tdlawyer :

I just regret that my service to you is considered poor simply because you already knew the legal position before asking the question.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything specifically that I can answer that would make you think otherwise?

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

Thank you for your reply, however you have only confirmed what we already knew. the main question is whether the law recognises our judgement of quality.We understand that if the purchase is not of the quality that the purchaser expects the purchaser can return the goods. The law does not say that we have to rely on a panel of experts from within the retail industry relating to the sale of TVs.

tdlawyer :

You are correct, the law does not say that you have to rely upon a panel of experts from the industry.

tdlawyer :

However, nor does it say that your assessment of judgement is the important one. It is not.

tdlawyer :

The key question is whether the judge thinks that the TV is of "satisfactory quality". But how does he determine that?

tdlawyer :

The answer is, he takes into account all available evidence as to the usual quality of such TVs, bearing in mind it specification and price.

tdlawyer :

The best source of such evidence is people the deal with such TVs on a daily basis.

tdlawyer :

And, of course, people who have an understanding of the range of TVs available in the marketplace, their quality and cost.

tdlawyer :

The best people to do that, will not be the average consumer, but probably purchases three or four TVs in their entire lifetime, but rather a dealer that works with a whole range of them over the course of his career.

tdlawyer :

Therefore, also is no specific requirement to defer to expert evidence, if you want to stand the best chance of success at a court hearing, then you would be well advised to consider obtaining it.

tdlawyer :

Hopefully, this has now given you some information you were not aware of.

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

I beleive the sale of goods act states " if the quality is not of the quality you were led to expect " ie the quality that we thought we would have from a highly respected manufacturer.

tdlawyer :

Okay. Then a further piece of information you're not aware of is that the sale of goods act states no such thing.

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

We do not intend taking this matter to court, merely looking for the right approach when we revisit Argos.

tdlawyer :

The specific text in section 14, the relevant section, is available here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/54

tdlawyer :

Agreed, nobody ever wants to take something to court, but ultimately the threat of doing that is what will compel a shop to recognise your rights.

tdlawyer :

An approach might be to threaten to write poor reviews about Argos, its customer service, and the products it sells, on its website and other consumer websites online.

tdlawyer :

But you will appreciate, that there is no right to force them to take the TV back unless the court would agree to doing that. The court will only do what you are legally entitled to. Writing poor reviews and so on, is a matter of choice, but it affords you no legal rights.

tdlawyer :

I notice that, in your initial question, you did specifically ask for advice on your rights.

tdlawyer :

I would like to think I have now told you of your rights, how to go about proving them, and explained the evidential process that the court will go through in determining your claim.

tdlawyer :

In the circumstances, do you still consider the service given to be poor?

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

We asked "What Consumer - Catriona " How to measure quality.

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

The reply was . Satisfactory is define as what a "reasonable person"would regard as acceptable. If it becomes apparent that an item is not of the quality that the purchaser was led to expect yoy havr the right to go back to the retailer .

JACUSTOMER-9vhvqz0e- :

You have stated that our rights are limited. If that is the case then we will have to rely on the goodwill of Argos.

tdlawyer :

Regrettably, you may have to rely upon the goodwill of Argos to get a speedy resolution to this, without it being considered by a court.

tdlawyer :

Just to touch upon what you say about an "reasonable person" regarding something is acceptable quality, this is defined by the judge, acting objectively. In other words, he becomes the "reasonable person".

tdlawyer :

It is not down to what the individual consumer in any given case considers to be reasonable.

tdlawyer :

Therefore, your view of the quality of the TV is irrelevant.

tdlawyer :

I think it fair to say that there is lots of information that given to you today which you did not know. Or, which you had misunderstood. In the circumstances, you consider the service given to be poor?

tdlawyer :

You still think it's port service I see. Okay, well I'm afraid I've done my best for you and I shall opt out and let somebody else try and add anything.