Refunds, Replacements and Legal Obligations
We recently had a new addition to our family: a shiny new Samsung 2233SW LCD monitor. Father and baby are doing well (Mother couldn’t care less).
Despite the joy of having 21-and-a-half inches of shininess, there was a minor problem. The monitor rattled whenever it moved; an uncomfortable metal-against-glass type rattle. I put up with it for about a week, but after that I felt compelled to try to get it fixed, just in case it decided to die on me after the warranty period expired.
My first call was to Samsung Support. Since it was reported within 14 days of purchase, Samsung Support Guy said it is considered “dead on arrival” and I needed to return it to the Store to get it replaced.
Second call: the Store. Monitors are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, said Store Guy. Call Samsung and they will provide a replacement. Sigh.
Third call: Samsung Support. Store Guy is right, said Samsung Support Guy, but only after 14 days. Under Fair Trading law, the Store is obligated to provide a replacement within 14 days of purchase. Double Sigh.
Fourth call was to the Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (1300 30 40 54). Here’s the official word from Friendly DFT Lady:
There is no “14 day” rule under the Fair Trading laws. However, by paying money you effectively entered into a contract with the seller to provide a product that is free from defects and acceptable for use. If the product is not defect-free, then the seller is obligated to rectify the problem, be it a replacement, repair or refund.
Is the seller still obligated to rectify the rattling, even if it doesn’t affect the performance of the monitor? Friendly DFT Lady says Yes:
Since you would not expect a monitor to rattle, then the seller is still obligated to resolve the issue.
So the final call: the Store again. After discussing Friendly DFT Lady’s advice, Store Guy agrees to provide a replacement. Huzzah!