Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics
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PostPosted: 23 Aug 08 15:19
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

Last December my daughter purchased a camera from Dick Smith. Within a few weeks the camera failed to charge or 'turn on'. She returned it with receipts to Dick Smith Superstore at Moore Park...
The person she spoke refused to exchange the camera and advised she would have to contact the manufacturer directly- as it was a product fault therefore NOT the stores issue! I intervened & after a prolonged 'discussion' a manager was called. After advising us that he was under NO OBLIGATION to exchange the camera -even though he agreed the camera had a fault- the manager agreed to exchange the camera. He then gave us a stern warning that if we had any further issues the store would NOT be as generous.
An colleague of mine has also experienced this - with a notebook that he had for under 2months. Again Dick Smith staff refused to exchange the notebook or take action - insisting that he contact the manufacturer directly.
Last week again I have heard of someone having an issue with a PS3- again Dick Smith refused to exchange the $700 product that has worked for under 5months ...and again referred the consumer to the manufacturer..who has now had the product for 2months while repairing it!
SURELY this is illegal - as a consumer I enter into a contract with the retailer.

NGE Member: BigSue
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PostPosted: 24 Aug 08 01:40
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

My experience of most DSE stores is that they have very fair '7 day exchange' & 'Dead-On-Arrival' polices, although I have to admit that the senior staff I have dealt with at the DSE Moore park store have often been less helpful than those I have dealt with at other DSE locations.

However most electrical & electronic retailers would be quite within their rights to redirect customers back to the manufacturer or distributor for warranty service where the fault appeared more than 7-14 days after purchase.

Certainly I wouldn't expect a retailer to directly exchange products that I had been using for 2 - 5 months before they developed a fault, unless there was a specific 'extended exchange' provision in the warranty.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 04:54
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics


This applies to EVERY state in Australia under their consumer laws, it is the RETAILER who is responsible for REPLACING defective goods, NOT THE MANUFACTURER.

Did I take my Mazda with a fault back to Japan, NO, I take it back to the Retailing DEALER to FIX!

Retailers can not ask the Buyer to take it back to the manufacturer, it is their responsibility.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 05:42
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

I'm sorry rx8, but you're TOTALLY wrong regarding retailers replacing faulty goods. Contrary to your assertion that it's the retailer's responsibility to replace defective or unserviceable goods, it's actually the manufacturer's responsibility under the terms of their warranty.

It's an entirely different scenario *if* the product is considered DOA. In that specific case, a retailer will have a clearly stated return and replacement policy printed on their bill of sale or receipt. It's usually 7 or 14 days, which is more than fair.

Manufacturers' warranties are for the express purpose of fixing/replacing faulty goods - that's nothing to do with the retailer at all.

Your analogy about your Mazda is either intentionally disingenuous, otherwise you're (unfortunately) very naive! New motor vehicle traders actually act as the manufacturers' agents in overseas countries, which is why, in this particular case you return your car to the dealer, rather than to Mazda in Japan... LOL.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 07:11
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

rx8...You are correct..under Govt Statutes any item or goods that are not of 'MERCHANTABLE QUALITY' atract the three Rs' Repair Replace or Refund within reasonable time...by the RETAILER with whom you have a contract.
Even if the item/goods are out of given or implied warranty.
If it is the Manufacturers responsibility, then you should have bought it from them at cost, not retail.
I have done this on three occaisions succesfully by first writing to the manager stating not of 'Merchantable Quality' that is how it is writen in the statutes.
Good luck.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 08:05
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

Hi All
Regardless of whether it should be returned to the manufacturer or retailer. Maybe we should start asking the retailer before we purchase exactly what the return policy is, note this down on the spot and take the time and details of the person telling you this. Maybe this would make them more transparent about who exactly is responsible and what the limitations are.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 08:26
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

The NSW Office of Fair Trading website says "Any problems under an implied warranty can be dealt with by the seller. Do not be misled by the seller into thinking you must only deal with the manufacturer."

That's pretty clear I would say.
Other states have almost identical laws.

NGE Note: Please refer to the Forum Rules relating to urls.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 08:38
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

Here we go again with a lot of people offering their opinions. The whole problem lies with the ACCC and state Consumer Affairs offices. It's long overdue that the warranty issue needs a lot of work done to make them fair to consumers. Implied warranties? that's another good one. Try to have one enforced and you've got about a 50/50 chance in court or at VCAT. The ACCC and other bodies should be insisting the government fix up the legislation to remove the need for everyone's 'opinion'. icon_mad.gif
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 09:00
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

Seems I'm not permitted to give you the URL for Fair Trading NSW in this forum. Here's a longer passage from their website:

"A consumer has the right to rescind (withdraw from) the contract and obtain a refund of the purchase price where goods or services are supplied in breach of any of the implied warranties. In some cases, associated costs (such as delivery fees) are also refundable.

To rescind a contract in relation to a consumer transaction, the consumer will usually return the goods to the place of purchase and advise the seller of the problem. Alternatively, the consumer can write to the seller advising them of the fault in the goods and the recision of contract.

Consumers are entitled to a refund under law. The consumer can decide whether they accept some alternative form of redress such as repair or replacement of the goods, however they are not obliged to do so.

Where goods have been used by the consumer prior to becoming unsuitable, it may be appropriate for the seller to offer a partial refund. In these circumstances, you should be prepared to negotiate an appropriate level of refund.

The consumerís contract is with the seller and it is the seller who is obliged to honour the implied warranties. Sellers are not permitted to ignore their obligations and require the consumer to deal with the manufacturer of defective goods."

Look up consumer rights under fair trading nsw
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 09:33
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

So why shop at Dick Smiths? I never do, the service and knowledge is pathetic and their warranty issues are set to a strict in house policy, much like most big corporate retailers. A few months back I was looking at purchasing a LCD TV, the staff members was telling me (his limited knowledge) about LCD's while pointing at a Plazma.

I never shop at big corporate retailers unless there is a massive price difference, go shop and an independent where the owner actually runs the store. You may pay a little extra but at least you will get service and back up always.

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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 09:47
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

I bought a HD tuner from DSE that was advertised as HDMI capable. When I got home and set it up it soon became clear that whilst the hardware had a HDMI output the firmware clearly didn't support it.

I pointed it out at DSE within a week and was promptly told it was the manufacturers problem.

Needless to say I'm unlikely to shop at Dick Smith again.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 09:54
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

A couple of years ago, I bought a digital camera from DSE corner Bourke and Swanston street. When I arrived home and opened the box, I found that the batteries (AAA) had been removed from their seals and inserted into the camera. I switched on the camera and found photos of the store, including customers browsing products). It was like the camera had been used for demo. I took it back to DSE the next day and the guy gave me a new one without any argument. I was quite happy about this, but in hindsight days later, I realised that the guy already knew that he had sold me a demo model for a new price! I have always found DSE in the city to be VERY SLOW on customer service at the sales counter. This can be very frustrating when one is on a lunch time break and needs to return to work, and yet finding that the service is slow. However, DSE Waverley Gardens? excellent customer service!
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 15:34
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

To the original poster,
Did DSE offer to send your camera for repair to be fixed?
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 16:44
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

I have pyrchased some games in the past from Dick Smith and a lot of the time you can tell they have been played,probably the staff taking them home and then returning them, the staff on alot of occasions are not very helpful. Someone should check up on their stores becauses there are some really poor practicies taking place. And if you ever buy anything always asked for a sealed item otherwise it's probably second hand or a demo.
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PostPosted: 25 Aug 08 17:06
Post subject: Dick Smith: Returning faulty electronics

I work at a Dick Smith store (and I must say now that this is just MY personal opinion NOT a company position), and I can tell you that we only follow the instructions which come up on screen about the particular item being disputed. Every item has a dispute warranty policy, ranging from Exchange Write Off (WR1) (under which the item must be swapped at any time during the warranty period and old one destroyed), Repair Send to Service (RSS) or Repair Direct Customer to Vendor (RDCV).

The RDCV option is generally used when it comes to Laptops and often simply means that a case number must be generated first by the manufacturer so that we can then send the lappy to repair under that case ID. It simplifies the repair procedure in essence.

As for Qagaar's opinions, well I'm sorry for him that he has found things so bad at DSE. I can assure you that not all of us have poor knowledge about items or poor service attitudes. For the most part most staff I've worked with do their best.

In all honesty, lunchtimes are our busiest period and we often struggle to get through the lines of people (you often have someone come in who wants to have some very technical thing explained and it can take a lot of time to explain, hence the lines get longer and longer but we can't really say "Come back later" as you'd understand).

Unfortunately many customers leave alot to be desired too, esp in terms of having patience at the counter. I had a guy the other week think he could tell me off because I simply called "Who's next?!" and served the guy who was at the counter in front of me, not knowing that apparently he and another bloke had been waiting for much longer (but were standing miles away from the counter IMO).

So Qagaar and others, please understand that we are only following our POS instructions and that most DSE staff are helpful and doing their best to assist you.
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