Len Dastard, consumer law wrestler takes on the Sales of Goods Act
Buenas tardes, avid Bitterwallet readers. Len Dastard here - former Mexican wrestler (remember the Reynosa Rumble of '77?) and consumer law expert, here to answer your questions.
Here's an email I received from amigo Crosby Mckenna that had me choking on my jalapeno quesadilla:
What, if anything, can you do about something you’ve bought that does what it;s meant to... but is pretty shit at it?
I spent nearly £200 on a JVC Bluetooth Headunit for my wife’s car and it’s wank. The phone menus are slow and clunky, it takes an age to read discs and swap between tracks, the radio is pants too - but it’s not actually faulty.
I bought it online and because I didn’t fit it til about a month after I bought it and then fought on with it for a bit longer, I can’t even send it back under distance selling regulations. I’ve emailed JVC Customer Service but so far they haven’t replied.
Thank you for the email, hermano. Under S14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (commonly referred to as SOGA1979) there is the following condition that you might be able to rely on:
(2) Where the seller sells goods in the course of a business, there is an implied term that the goods supplied under the contract are of satisfactory quality.
(2A) For the purposes of this Act, goods are of satisfactory quality if they meet the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking account of any description of the goods, the price (if relevant) and all the other relevant circumstances.
(2B) For the purposes of this Act, the quality of goods includes their state and condition and the following (among others) are in appropriate cases aspects of the quality of goods—
(a) fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied,
(b) appearance and finish,
(c) freedom from minor defects,
(d) safety, and
I've underlined the two potential clauses that you might be able to use when you next contact the seller. You're already aware the product does actually work but not as efficiently/effectively as you would have hoped. The way to look at this, and put the point across, is that (and make this very clear) a “reasonable person” would consider there are possible minor defects in the product, in that:
• The phone menus are slow - does it have internal memory which you are using to its maximum capacity?
• The Radio is “pants” – you would of course need to elaborate on this point
• Track changing is clunky
You need to put it to them in such a way that they feel you are not being fussy or pernickety. If you've not had similar systems in the past, make the point that this is the first time you have experienced problems with such a unit and you certainly wouldn’t come to expect it from a manufacturer such as JVC etc.
Another important point to note is who you should be contacting. If you bought this from an online retailer (not JVC) you must direct the above information to the retailer, because that's who you've contracted with. It would then be up to the retailer to put this to the manufacturer, as that is who they contracted with.
Got a consumer law-related query? Send them to me, Len Dastard, at hello[@]bitterwallet.com.