Len Dastard takes on BestBuy - an update
Hola amigos! It is I, Len Dastard, back again to fight for you, my dedicados lectores. Whilst I write under the guise of a semi-retired Mexican wrestler, I am a full time litigation executive who gets his kicks from assisting consumers in their disputes with retailers.
I do like burritos, however, and have a fetish for the feel of spandex against my agujero marrón de olor.
You may remember that I took on Best Buy a couple of weeks ago. We have finally reached a conclusion.
You can find the previous article here, but if you are of limited attention span, this is the short version: Bitterwallet reader Damien ordered an Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera, for which the online description included an “Electronic ViewFinder VF-2”. This was not included when the delivery arrived.
After emailing customer services, Damien received a £38 “goodwill gesture” from BestBuy. We assisted Damien in replying, by stressing that BestBuy were very obviously in breach of contract. Their reply read:
To resolve your complaint we will offer a full refund on the return of the camera or alternatively, if you are willing to keep the item we will refund you 10% of the purchase price paid.
If you are unhappy with the product you have received, Best Buy UK (any retailer) can offer a full refund on the purchase price in order to cancel the transaction.
As such, Best Buy are not breaching any form of 'purchase contract'. You have the option to either return for refund, or accept our gesture of a 10% refund should you retain the product.
This is the final offer from Best Buy UK.
Getting the obvious out of the way, what they offer is probably reasonable in all the circumstances- refund or 10%. I do not agree with their claim not be in breach of contract. The contract was for the items as described ( S13(1) Sale of Goods Act 1979 implies a condition that, where there is a contract for the sale of goods by description the goods will correspond with their description) and should have included the ViewFinder. I am still unhappy that Best Buy consider their conduct in this transaction to be absolutely fine.
It's sensible for Damien to accept this as the only other alternative (apart from a full refund) would have been to issue court proceedings in an effort to get them to comply with their side of the contract.
Issuing proceedings should always be a last resort and only considered if you believe that your claim is worthy of spending your money on issuing it. Proportionality is a major factor in determining whether a claim is justified. Would you spend £25 suing someone for a £50 debt? Sometimes a point of principal to you can mean more than your money does.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with BestBuy or are you as disappointed as I am that they could not even acknowledge their “mistake”? Let me know your thoughts, laughing boy, and remember to contact me with your consumer legal concerns, at firstname.lastname@example.org.