I bought a cheap set of speakers ($37.50) for my sons PC From CPL (Computers & Parts Land) in Notting Hill (VIC) when we got them home I could not plug one of the leads in I looked at the plug and saw it had a bent pin.
I returned to the store for an exchange one week after the purchase. The sales staff said a tech will have to look at it after a discussion with the tech they said they will have to send it back to the supplier as it is damaged, I stated that is correct you supplied me the damaged goods, their reply was we supplied you a sealed box so damage has occurred by me and that damage is not a fault. I showed them that the plug can only go in one way and if you try to insert it incorrectly you can not damage the pins as they can not make contact it in any way and the mark on the speaker part of the plug was caused by the bent pin that lines ups perfectly with a correct insertion alignment.
They still refused an exchange until they sent it back to their supplier who happens to be closed for the Christmas break. They have accused me of causing the damage pin with no evidence, I asked how could you possibly prove it was me and it was not supplied that way. They said that is why they need to send it back as damaged goods is not a fault with the product.
I explained to them that I bought the goods from them and not their supplier and I demonstrated that I did not cause the damage.
I also stated that for a product is only worth $37.50 and you are going to go through all this time and cost for such a product. They told me yes and I have to fill out a warranty form and when the supplier reopens next week they get back to me.
I have heard lots of stories about the computer parts outlets making up their own warranty rules. From my point of view the item was supplied defective and they can not prove that they were not supplied defective so why should I have to wait to get the goods I paid for to be checked by their supplier before getting an exchange ( if I get one ). What are my rights regarding this situation and also if they decide not to give me my money back for the item as as I told them I no longer want an exchange since I will have to wait at least a week and then have to drive for half an hour to pick it up.
The process won’t get you your product any faster, but if you prefer to shop elsewhere it might be satisfying to cancel with CPL.
For your rights read about Australian Consumer Law. It is not uncommon for products to be broken or dead from the manufacturer. Waiting a week to report a faulty product in a sealed box could be considered sus but regardless it would be their problem to work it out with their supplier. When I get a broken product I either go back straight away or ring and get details of who I talked to for the return and swap out. If they push back I go the next step (never have had to yet, knock wood).
So to your question, you might have held your ground at the shop, cited your rights under the ACL, asked for or taken the staff’s name for your formal complaint, and demanded a replacement. If they have the faulty product in their possession as it appears they do, you could tell them you require a refund citing the reason from the ACL, and if they don’t provide it contact your card issuer for a chargeback with the details including how the shop did not follow the ACL.
If they come back claiming no way could you have had a faulty product ask them for a written statement. If they refuse you need to hold your ground and send them a formal letter of complaint per the ACL. You might not wish to invest the time and aggro for a $37.50 product, or might wish to on principle.
Your issue is that it’s your word against theirs. It’s actually pretty common for customers to damage things then bring them back, especially plugs. The shop also has the right to send the item off for assessment.
That being said, on the facts you describe you are absolutely entitled to a repair, refund or replacement (your choice) as a major failure under the consumer guarantees. It’ll be a hassle and fight though, because these cheap and nasty IT shops almost always are sheisters.
If you paid via credit card then you’d be better off charging back with your bank.
I am sure it happens all the time, but I clearly demonstrated to them that it is impossible to have made that mark without the pin already being damaged. They we accusing from the start and it seemed clear to me from the start they have no respect for customer service of consumer law. Its cheap probably not worth the hassle but they still need to do the right thing. I have bought another speaker and will await there response next week
A common scenario for nearly any packaged goods. You don’t get to find out intil you get them home and opened.
I remember my mother in the 60’s going through multiple unopened boxes checking out the toaster inside to be sure it was not scratched, bent or damaged in any way before purchase. Some stores only had the display aka ‘for sale’ model. Toasters, electric kettles etc back then were very expensive, once in a lifetime purchases! Few stores had more than one of each model or version.
Today with many items in security sealed packaging, (a supplier/store choice), the consumer options are limited. Unpack the item on the counter before purchase is not an option for all?
The seller has to accept the risk. There is no other way Consumer law can function effectively. The responsibility needs to remain with the seller to prove the goods were of merchandisable quality, and no doubt packaged to survive the trip to the purchaser’s home.
For the purchaser the observation something is missing, is broken or damaged, or fails to function as described should be all the evidence a consumer needs to present!
If Consumer law is one person’s word against a another it is time we rewrote that law!