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Dodgy Warranty Information?

This warranty information page directs all warranty claims to the manufacturers/distributors, rather than accepting any warranty claims themselves. I was under the impression that the retailer was the first port of call for warranty, so is this company’s warranty instructions page lawful?

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They include

My Generator will always help facilitate the process between the customer and manufacturer if necessary.

which is probably the equivalent of a get out of jail free card as far the the ACL is concerned. Whether that meets the standard for them ‘owning’ the issue, ‘facilitate’ might be a word selected to suggest it is not their problem but they will accept it is their problem when necessary.

Back to first port of call, one can use the ACL or get someone on the phone with a clue, so this doesn’t bother me re the ACL or a potential warranty claim. As posted in other topics, I go to the ‘door’ with the best chance of getting a speedy and proper resolution; if that is the manufacturer and they fob me off, off to the retailer/seller I go, ACL in hand if necessary.

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It’s perfectly fine for them to direct warranty claims through the manufacturer, as long as this warranty is IN ADDITION to the guarantees under consumer law.

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A remote start generator I purchased mid last year expired - motor ran, but alternator not working - after a few months, and they directed me to the manufacturer, Dunlite, and the unit was replaced with a minimum of fuss.

Now the plastic housing of the control panel has fallen apart, plastic cracked presumably due to motor vibration, so I’ve asked My Generator for a replacement panel. No response yet, but I assume they will tell me to contact Dunlite again. Fobbing off warranty claims direct to the manufacturer seems an easy way to avoid them making any effort to fulfil claims to me.

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I wonder if this website is a marketing platform for the distributer/manufacturer rather than a retailer per say. They say they ship from warehouses around the country but only have offices in Sydney and Gold Coast… .this seems to indicate that they may be a marketing platform.

It might be like eBay for the companies that advertise their products?

If this was the case, then they might be correct in pointing customers to the manufacturers/distributors for warranty claims…as in effect the manufacturers/distributors are also the retailer.

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In many cases, and using yours as an example, it could be the quickest resolution.

You could go to the manufacturer who might drop ship you the part with a photo sent as evidence, or on your word, or might want the broken part for inspection, but it is a two party resolution. OR

You could go to the seller who might want the bad part as evidence, or will accept a photo or your word, who might need to send it (the warranty claim however handled) to the manufacturer for inspection, who sends a new part to the seller who sends it to you - in the worst case. Easily another day or more in the process because of administration and processing time at the seller, if no other reason.

How many sellers would stock the part? So which is your best shot at a quick resolution? If the manufacturer knocks you back, you can always take your claim to the seller, ACL in hand.

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Hard to say exactly what they are really, no shop fronts anywhere, but selling a huge range of brands, in parallel to other outlets.

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With a bit more research…These are also under the same ABN…

Caravan RV Camping also has similar warranty claim resolution wording pointing customers to the brand manufacturer/distributors…Some product warranties may be handled directly by the manufacturer as they have specialist teams dedicated to the warranty and technical support regarding their products. They will also have their own service agents that meet their warranty standards. These products will need to be produced with the original packages if possible. Here is a list of our suppliers to help you get into contact with the correct warranty deptartment.

Maybe the FWR Brand website gives a clue to how it operates…

We are an eCommerce company.

We provide market leading digital platforms for our customers and brands to connect, find product solutions and happiness.

So it appears that they aren’t a retailer, but a marketing platform to allow brands (manufacturers, distributors and importers) to market and sell their products. Their street addrsses of their offices are also interesting, the one at the Varsity Lakes (Gold Coast) appears to be in a rentable shared office space…while the one in Sydney is in a office tower in down town Sydney…Level 2, 85 William Street, Darlinghurst Sydney NSW 2010. This tends to support the above that it is an eCommerce/marketing platform type business.

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If I may split hairs here, information at the ACCC on Repair, replace, refund states"

" Approaching the retailer or manufacturer

The retailer who sold you the product or service cannot refuse to help you by sending you to the manufacturer or importer. You can approach the manufacturer or importer directly, however, you will only be entitled to recover costs from them, which include an amount for reduction in the product’s value and in some cases compensation for damages or loss. You cannot demand a repair, replacement or refund from the manufacturer."

As stated above, approaching the manufacturer directly limits what you can claim. Also, it does not limit what sort of retailer you can approach. Whether they are an e-commerce retailer, or a marketting platform, they are still the retailer, and they can NOT fob you off!

This is not to say that the manufacturer may co-operate and rectify the situation, which is great. BUT it is alway best to go to the retailer.

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Very true @meltam, I have posted the same info myself. If a person chooses to bypass the retailer they can do so but they may severely limit their options by doing so. They may get the issue resolved but they can also risk what choice and recompense they receive.

The only time that going directly to a manufacturer that gives a consumer the same rights as when they go to a retailer is when the manufacturer acts as a retailer as well ie they sell directly to consumers. ACL then treats them as retailers with the same obligations as any other retailer.

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We are surrounded by e-businesses.
Many of these pretend that they have special status acquired through the digital ether. That is they can create and write their own rules. They pretend they are exempt from the laws of the nations where they seek their customers.

Slowly, one by one they are being brought to account whether by the EU or the ACCC or … Slow as that process may be.

If they sell stuff and you pay them for stuff, then as stuff goes they are retailers. We purchased many decades back from a different version of Myer, by phone or mail order. Smaller businesses simply had a mail order service run from behind the counter. Myer had an independent business including catalogue and pricing. Items were not always ex stock. In simple terms who ever issues the invoice, sales docket, receipt is the seller.

Perhaps FWR/MyGenerator need to join the queue at the ACCC?

Reasonably as the seller FWR’s online stores may have arrangements with their suppliers/importers/manufacturers concerning warranty. These may be convenient for the customer. They should not be less than the provisions assured under ACL as if you were going through the retailer. I do wonder how FWR might respond to a warranty claim on a major failure if the product manufacturer had ceased trading and disappeared from the planet.

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We had to return a handheld GME two-way radio (one of a pair) back to Anaconda Launceston today (with receipt) as it failed to work…it appears that the push to talk (PPT) was either faulty or in the on position so that it would transmit but wouldn’t disengage so that it could receive.

We bought the pair and charger from Anaconda in early April and it has had very light use since then (maybe on 12 days for up to an hour each day). I also indicated that it was a major fault as the product was no longer usable.

On returning the faulty product to Anaconda we were told initially by their point of sale person that they don’t do exchanges or refunds if the product was bought over 28 days ago (maybe they don’t understand what a change in mind and faulty product is), and that they would have to wait for GME to let them know how to proceed with the returned product. I said that this was unsatisfactory as we had driven some distance (54km) to return the product to Anaconda and were unwilling to wait for a resolution from GME.

I was told that they deal with product issues from all around the place and being come distance from Launceston was no concern to them.

They called the store supervisor (most senior person working on a Sunday) who came to the front of the store and he also said that he can’t offer a resolution until he had spoken to GME. He said he would try and ring GME to see if anyone was working in their warranty section to see if he could get advice on how to resolve the faulty product. He said that Anaconda had to follow GME warranty process and this involved contacting GME to determine how they wish to resolve.

I made it clear that this seemed to be inconsistent with my rights as a consumer but was willing to wait until a phone call was made. No surprises, no-one was working at GME and the supervisor said he can’t do anything until he speaks to GME. He said to leave the product at Anaconda and they would contact them tomorrow or coming days to get GME advice.

As I was there with my family, I didn’t want to make a scene and push the issue as they Anaconda Launceston staff don’ seem to understand the Australian Consumer Law nor consumer’s rights when a product has a major failure.

I left the faulty product with Anaconda, as they indicated that they may have to send it to a service agent to get fixed or source a replacement if it couldn’t be fixed. They said that usually it takes 2 or more weeks. I asked again if it was possible to get an exchange and was told that Anaconda can’t resolve until they have spoken to GME.

It appears that Anaconda can’t make decisions about the products it sells unless they speak to their suppliers about what can and can’t be done. This does make a mockery of the retailer’s responsibilities under the ACL.

hhhmmmmmm…

I will post an update when have heard from Anaconda Launceston…hopefully tomorrow.

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A complaint to the ACCC seems in order. You might need to send Anaconda a print-out of what Rights you have under ACL and advise you have complained to the ACCC and further request replacement of the unit and refund of reasonable cost of returning said defective unit. If you use the unit for safety purposes then 2 weeks awaiting some news may be too long and you could also chivvy them along about that.

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The experience highlights one of the everyday problems common for those living in a rural or regional location, some distance from a major retailer. The digital economy while it improves access to some products also faces similar challenges with warranty. Some require a product to be returned for assessment. Others send out a replacement which can take a week or more these days to arrive even when you have not returned the faulty goods.

Doesn’t the retailer also need time to determine and assess the cause of the failure or fault?

If a fault with a product can be repaired within a reasonable time (minor fault) there is no obligation to replace or refund?

How the retailer might do so could include using a repair agent or reference to the supplier/importer/OEM. Consumer rights are solely out:

How promptly does a retailer needs to agree or respond to a claim? Good business for some may be a replacement over the counter. It appears the ACCC guideline offers no direction other than other than for minor repairs to be completed within a reasonable time?

Perhaps GME will agree to exchange for a new replacement, irrespective of how Anaconda decide to assess whether the failure is repairable within a reasonable time.

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It needs to at least understand its obligations under Australian Consumer Law - and in this instance it appears that the retailer had no idea what it was required to do by law.

As for whether to replace or repair, I think most retail arrangements with wholesalers or manufacturers make this call the latter’s responsibility - but the retailer has the legal obligation, as Apple learned some years ago. The retailer cannot simply refer to its contract with the supplier, as consumer law trumps that.

Finally, returning to the issue of responsiveness - if the unit clearly does not work as intended then there should be no reason to delay its replacement. The retailer and its supplier can work out the details later, but this part is not the consumer’s problem.

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Therein lies a hole in the practical sense. It should not be, it legally is not, but it regularly is the consumer’s problem to deal with, be it extra travel, angst, or having to argue the point. If only there was a fee to recalcitrant businesses for every formal complaint lodged where it is clear they did the wrong thing - eg on the spot fines.

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That’s correct. If they had been clear upfront saying something like…

“With GME products, we send them away to see if they can be repaired…and if they can’t be repaired, you will be entitled to a refund or replacement”

Instead I get a range of different messages depending on who one spoke to (I spoke to three different shop personnel all with different takes on what happens to faulty products when returned), leaving one thinking they don’t really know what they are doing or don’t want to make a decision in relation to what the process is or what happens in the case of such returns. This creates confusion and also…

with Anaconda personnel when it should be a relatively straightforward process to resolve the customer’s problems. I felt in some respects that the problem was mine and not theirs.

I had to ask about…isn’t it a major fault as one of the handsets fails to function … aren’t I entitled to a replacement handset…it is inconvenient to return to the store due to distance so can it be resolved today…

Such should have been clear from staff and not one knowing consumer rights. If I didn’t know consumer rights, after being told that they don’t do exchanges or refunds after 28 days (which looking at the Anaconda website is their change of mind policy), I might have thought that there was no warranty and left the store being the ‘proud’ owner of a faulty, non-functioning handset. Only my persistence did other staff come to the counter and then giving different versions of what the faulty product process was.

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And there in lies a very important question.
In whose eyes is the failure of the PTT press to talk and transmit button a major or minor failure?
Given it’s one of a boxed set of two and charger/s!

I’m not taking sides here. I’d be as unhappy with the outcome if I was in @phb position. We have been for other items because of where we live outside the city.

The service from Anaconda needs to be called out as has been here. It’s just not clear it’s a major failure, especially for an item that did function as intended for at least 4 months after purchase, and only one of the units in the purchased set.

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An an individual handset is possibly only worth (retail) $50-60 each. To send away and to look at would potentially be more than the value of the handset.

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I agree Anaconda are being very petty or very ignorant or both. :wink:

(p.s. for those who’ve noticed, Apple seems to keep correcting Anaconda to Amazon. Do they know something we don’t?)

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