On 19th October 2002, We (my fiance and I) bought a LG Electronics 29" television from COMET, EASTBOURNE branch (Customer order number: 05023382).
I also bought an extended warranty for the TV, as the TV was off the shelf ie no box, the sales assistant sold me the warranty at a discount.
At the point We bought the TV from COMET we've mutually entered into an agreement governed by the Sales of Goods Act
as defined by UK Trading Standards website.
On 7th April 2003 my fiance turned the TV on, the picture came on and immediately went blank accompanied by the smell of burning plastic.
My fiance phoned me to inform me of the problem and I advise her to unplug the TV as a precaution incase of an electrical fire.
When I got home 19:00 GMT I went to check the TV. An hour had passed from when my fiance turned the TV on and I could smell burnt plastic as
I entered the lounge. Clearly a fault with the TV. We phoned the COMET helpline but they had all gone home for the evening.
Unhappy with this we paid a visit to EASTBOURNE's COMET branch and spoke to the sales manager. We explained the problem we had and asked if
they could help. They were unhelpful and their reply was "there's nothing we can do here and best to try ringing the number again tomorrow".
My fiance phoned COMET's help line the following day and arranged for an engineer to attempt to repair the TV on 12 April 2003 (already 5 days no TV).
A COMET TV engineer called round on the 12th. He played around with the TV a bit and his analysis was that the TV had a faulty chip and he would have
to order this the following Monday. (This is evidence that the TV is faulty and less than 6 months old!)
He also said that its unlikely that this chip would arrive before Easter 2003. Which meant that I would not have a working TV minimum 14 days from
the date that I reported the problem.
Being EXTREMELY unhappy with the prospect of no working TV for at least 14 days and still having to wait for a new chip we paid EASTBOURNE COMET
another visit. This time with the TV in the back of the car demanding an exchange or our money back as in our opinion the repair period was not
within reasonable time.
As we both covered contract law as part of our university course at university, we felt it was time to touch up on
facts on the Sales of Goods Act.
If you read the link above to the Trading Standards website the Sales of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) it states goods should be:
- of a satisfactory quality, ... generally free from fault or default
- Fit for the purpose
- As described
As the TV had a faulty chip the this means that the TV was sold to me being faulty. We have proved the TV was faulty within less than 6 months
from date of purchase to the call being made to COMET. Their engineer confirmed a new chip was needed.
Also another quote from the Trading Standards website regarding the Sales of Goods Act
"It is illegal to
have a contract term that attempts to restrict your statutory rights,..."
"If the fault was present when you bought the goods, you do have other choices, even if you tell the trader too late to get a full refund. You can
ask for a repair or replacement, or a reduction in the price to allow for the fault, or you can give the goods back and ask for your money back -
this is known as 'rescission'. You may not get the full amount back, because the trader may be able to reduce it to allow for the use you have had
of the goods. If you ask for a repair or replacement but these are not possible, or if you ask for a repair and it takes longer than is necessary or
significantly inconveniences you (e.g. if the fault is on a wedding dress and the repair cannot be done soon enough for the wedding), you can still
ask for a reduction or rescission."
"Note that if the fault happens within six months of you buying the goods, the trader has to prove that they were not faulty when you bought them.
After that, you have to prove it."
"If you have paid for the goods by credit card (not debit or charge card), and the value of each item is £100 or more, the credit card company
has obligations to you, too. These rights are given to you under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, under a principle known as 'Equal Liability'.
This means that the credit card company and the supplier have the same obligations and responsibilities to you for the goods being satisfactory.
You can complain to both the supplier and the credit card company."
On 12th April we were with the Sales Manager of EASTBOURNE COMET branch, we told him
- We informed him of our fault with the TV on Monday 7th
- We also phoned the COMET engineer on the 8th who would repair the TV on the 12th
- The engineer came, could not fix the TV, he needed to order the part and said it was likely we would not get the part before the Easter holidays.
We are unhappy with the time it would take to get this chip and our TV repaired. We classed this as UNREASONABLE. (Theres NO legal definition of
REASONABLE however the law is arguable).
- And based on the above events we either wanted a replacement or exchange, and if he could not do that then we wanted a refund. We also recited the
Sales of Goods Act to the store manager and We also stressed to him we were exercising our statutory rights.
The store manager said that the Sales of Goods Act says that if we had brought the goods back within 28 days from date of purchase we were entitled to a refund. I said thats not Sales of Goods Act that is COMET Store policy.
I said to him you are incorrect about the Sales of Goods Act, and under this ACT we want a replacement, an exchange or our money back as the repair time in my opinion was not classed as reasonable.
His reponse was "Theres nothing I can do until Monday", unhappy with this my fiance said "How do you know? You haven't even tried." and question his position as a manager. The store manager said he did not have the authority to replace the TV or offer the refund, as the people that authorise this
do not work on a Saturday/Sunday.
In his words "If I could authorise this I would do this now". The store manager said the best he could do was phone up on Monday morning, enquire and phone me of the outcome. I asked him what time he will call me. He said he was not on site on Monday as that was his day off, and Steve Marrick or Craig would call me at 16:00pm GMT on 14th April.
On Monday 14th April I had heard nothing from Steve Marrick or this so called Mr Craig and decided to phone Eastbourne COMET myself, once at 16:40 and the other at 16:50. There was no answer on both occasions. It seems that the Store manager and his staff has broken their promise and once again customer service has failed. They promised to phone me yet they haven't, I phoned them and they did not even have the courtesy to answer the phone!
Hmm it seems like I will be paying EASTBOURNE COMET a visit on TUESDAY 15 APRIL 2003 to 1) exchange the TV, or rescind the contract and ask for my money back and refund the monies paid for the useless extended warranty.
My question is to those that read this page be careful about buying goods from COMET, we have found that even a large High Street Store has contravened the Sales of Goods Act as put in place by Trading Standards.
We will NOT be buying anything else from COMET in the future as they were very unprofessional, and secondly have very POOR after sales customer service.
An example of the store manager being extremely rude was when my fiance questioned his position, he said
"How do you know you don't even work here or work with electronics". Of which is extremely rude and an example of their professionalism.
I also have been in touch with the Citizens Advice Bureau and Local Trading Standards, both of which have been extremely helpful. Trading standard said that I have a claim for damages against COMET.
I visited COMET Eastbourne on 15th April 2003 and spoke to Mr Ali Hussain the sales manager to try and sort out my problem once and for all. A 14" replacement TV was offered to me while our TV was out of action. I immediately refused this and regarded this as an insult. (Dixons offer a 20" TV if a TV needed repairing.) On 12 April 2003 Mr Hussain claimed he used to work for Dixon(s) and said that this was not the case.
I questioned Mr Hussain on why the staff did not ring me on Monday, his answer was because they lost the paperwork. Mr Hussain then took my number down again, I questioned him this time on whether he would loose it. He said "I won't because its in the back of my trouser pocket".
Feeling agrieved, he said that if the TV is not repaired with reasonable time, which is 21 days time he would offer me another TV of the same value or COMET vouchers. I ask myself why do I want to deal with COMET again after such inconvenience, their COMET's after sales customer service were no help, rude and unprofessional.
Mr Hussain also signed a piece of paper to confirm that within 21 days if TV could not be repaired we could pick another TV of the same value. He would write off the current LG Electronics TV and if we didn't want the TV we would get vouchers.
At this point I left the store saying that this is not good enough.
Anyhow we eventually got our tv repaired. What I will take away with me after all this malarky is every high street store has its ups and downs. As regards to COMET's customer service I would class them as bottom of the league compared to the likes of Dixons, Currys, Argos, B&Q etc.
I'll never buy from COMET again as I learnt from the above experience. The above is a true account of the events that took place.
If you have any further questions then you can contact me on
(c) Cheester - no responsibility or liability can be accepted for information used on these pages