Bargain tablet left Jeremy with no link to the internet

Jeremy Clasby is not one to be messed around. So when the Acer tablet he bought from Currys' Park Gate store kept going wrong, he wasn't prepared to let the company ignore his consumer rights.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 10th November 2016, 6:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:59 pm
Currys, PC World at Park Gate, Southampton
Currys, PC World at Park Gate, Southampton

Last June, store staff recommended a 10-inch tablet, which was on special offer at under £100.

But to Jeremy’s surprise and disappointment, within a few weeks the wi-fi connection kept dropping out.

He didn’t realise he had an automatic right to a refund because the tablet had gone wrong within the first 30 days from purchase.

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So the former Gosport NHS mental health nurse took it back to the store. He complained to the Currys Know How technical staff that the tablet was useless because the wireless connection to the internet was unreliable.

They checked it out and couldn’t find any fault with it. Instead they insisted the problem must all be down to his router and home wi-fi connection.

Jeremy asked his broadband provider TalkTalk to check his router for a potential intermittent fault, but they quickly gave it a clean bill of health. All his other wireless devices had been working perfectly well and without problems.

In the meantime, to his annoyance, the tablet went down again with precisely the same signal drop-out problem. Occasionally it would work okay, then he’d find himself staring at a blank screen or a ‘no connection’ warning suddenly appeared.

A hacked-off Jeremy drove all the way from Gosport to Segensworth for a second time and, after a frustrating 20-minute wait, spoke to the Know How staff about the annoying on-off tablet that was driving him up the wall.

After running further checks, they again insisted there was nothing wrong with it, but they’d reset the device to its factory settings in an effort to fix the problem once and for all.

But, much to his consternation, within a few weeks the tablet’s wi-fi connection failed again.

He traipsed back to the store for a third time, not knowing he didn’t have to put up with all the hassle because by now he was legally entitled to a replacement or his money back.

But Currys staff said the way forward was for him to return the table to Acer and get the firm to fix it.

Jeremy didn’t realise this was a potential breach of his statutory rights under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act.

The law states that a purchaser’s contract is with the seller, not the manufacturer. It puts the responsibility on the store to attempt a one-off repair for faulty goods or replace them if they’re returned within six months of purchase.

By now it was mid-September, but without further ado the tablet was sent off to Acer to fix.

Jeremy says he wasn’t surprised when they couldn’t find the fault either, but insisted the charger port had been damaged despite the fact he’d only ever used the charger that came with the tablet.

When he got it back all appeared to go well until mid-October when the problem resurfaced. He resent it back to Acer, but it insisted it was a charger port issue, not covered under their guarantee. Unless he was prepared to pay replacement or return fees, the case would be closed and after 90 days it would destroy the tablet.

Not known for losing his rag, Jeremy decided it was high time to find out precisely where he stood. He turned up at the regular weekly Streetwise consumer surgery to ask for our advice.

We were astounded that his complaint about a faulty product had not been handled by Currys with a greater understanding of his consumer rights.

Streetwise pointed out the onus was firmly on the company to fix the problems with the tablet.

A day or so later, a senior member of Currys’ customer care team rang Jeremy to apologise and, as a gesture of goodwill, generously offered him a £200 voucher towards the purchase of a replacement tablet.

Mindful of all the problems with the Acer, he agreed to use it to buy a Samsung, ending more than six months of frustration and inconvenience. He was greatly relieved the battle for his statutory rights had finally been won.

A Currys spokesperson confirmed it was keen to put the matter behind it in a statement.

‘We’re very sorry that Mr Clasby was not dealt with as promptly as possible. We have arranged for a new replacement tablet and he is happy with the resolution.’

A grateful Jeremy said: ‘Thank you for your guidance and intervention in this matter. I feel without your help it would have taken a lot longer, with more hassle for me. I will recommend you to any friends or colleagues if they have similar problems as you have the knowledge and guidance for them to follow.’

With Christmas just around the corner, Streetwise is happy to help readers stand up for their rights. We spell out the law of the land to protect shoppers from the sale of faulty goods.

n Shoppers returning faulty goods within 30 days of purchase are entitled to a full refund.

n Shoppers returning faulty goods after 30 days but up to six months from the date of purchase are entitled to a one-off attempt at a satisfactory repair or a replacement. It’s the shop’s responsibility to carry out the repair, or return it to the manufacturer.

n If the repair isn’t satisfactory, unreasonably delayed, or a replacement is faulty, then the remedy reverts to a full refund.