David Horton’s Nintendo Wii controller didn’t play the game just hours after he bought it from his local CeX Fareham shop.
Between jobs David hit out at the exchange goods store chain after the shop manager refused to give him a refund for equipment he claimed was faulty and not up to scratch.
The 53-year-old and his partner Lisa decided the family needed a home entertainment boost when they were bored with nothing to watch on evening TV.
His feud with the store began when he tried it out at home only to find the video game console wouldn’t update or charge properly, and the screen image kept flickering.
A previous Nintendo Wii gamer, David noticed the pre-owned Wii package with leads and games for sale in the Complete Entertainment Exchange technology store at what he considered was a very reasonable price of £55.50.
But he was about to find his exchange was far from entertaining.
‘When we set it up,’ he said ‘it wouldn’t connect to the TV and kept freezing up on the games, so I took it back to the shop.
‘They tested it and said there was nothing wrong with it.’
‘But I was told at the time I bought it the policy of the shop is that you can return anything within two days for a refund. When I took it back they then said they didn’t do refunds, and I must have misunderstood what the shop assistant said.
‘I wasn’t happy at all. Given what was wrong with it and what was said at the time, it didn’t match up. At the end of the day it didn’t work properly and I wanted my money back.
‘I was sure that I had statutory rights, and if products were faulty I was entitled to a full refund, but the Fareham shop were refusing to cooperate.
‘They repeated they didn’t do refunds, but as it wouldn’t update, get films, etcetera I didn’t want it.
‘When they refused to budge I stormed out and went straight to Citizens’ Advice.
‘On the CeX receipt it said something about returns within 30 days and six months, but I’d returned it within two days.
The CAB confirmed I’d a right to a refund, and they took details for trading standards.
‘At the same time, someone suggested I got onto the papers, so that’s when I got onto Streetwise.’
CeX had come to our attention previously about its 48 hour returns policy, so we were anxious to get to the bottom of David’s complaint.
We established the innovative firm had around 500 shops worldwide, 360 of which are in the UK.
Bosses David Butler and David Mullins started trading in London in 1992 and have since gone on to make a fortune out of selling second-hand smartphones, computing, DVDs and video games.
We next looked over the company’s UK terms and conditions of trading and found them to be transparent and strictly in line with the requirements of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Receipts confirmed faulty goods returned within 30 days from purchase qualified for a no quibble statutory refund, or repair replacement or exchange for goods of equal value in any CeX store if taken back within 6 months.
But what had triggered previous complaints to Streetwise had been confusion about the company’s publicised two-day goodwill returns policy.
Legally, buyers of products who subsequently regret their purchase aren’t entitled to a cash refund if they don’t want them and decide to take them back.
However as a goodwill gesture, CeX customers are invited to try out their purchase and if they are unhappy with it for any reason they can return it within 48 hours for a voucher entitling them to exchange it for goods of equivalent value.
Streetwise was anxious to talk to the firm’s bosses about complaining customers like David Horton who’d clearly got hold of the wrong end of the stick.
We tried emailing them twice but were unable to get a reply. When we resorted to phoning the shop on their 0330 number all we got was a taped message referring us to Twitter.
Finally we discovered contact could be made via their website, which promptly sent us a complaints ticket number.
We told them about David’s experience and as a result Jonathan Cronin, the firm’s brand and communications manager got back to us to explain.
He said: ‘Mr Horton bought a Nintendo Wii with number games and accessories from CeX Fareham.
‘He returned within two days stating that the Wii didn't work properly and requested a refund.
‘It was tested by our store team who found everything worked correctly. We also offered Mr Horton a replacement Nintendo Wii and accessories if he preferred that or a return to store credit. Like other technology retailers, CeX doesn't offer cash refunds unless items are defective.
‘As a goodwill gesture, we have offered Mr Horton a refund which he collected in store.
‘CeX stands by the fact the items supplied to him worked as promised. Everything we sell is covered by a two-year warranty.’
David was impressed that Streetwise had been able to clarify the firm’s returns goodwill policy and get the contentious issue of the refund sorted on an amicable basis.
‘You were brilliant,’ he said. ‘We can’t thank you enough for your help.
‘When we went back to the shop it was all done and dusted within 10 minutes We shook hands and there were no hard feelings.’