Letter of the week: should we have stayed local?

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Since when did retailers stop taking responsibility for the products that they sell? We recently bought a (pretty expensive) item of office equipment from a large national electrical retailer in Rugby.

It took several weeks for us to realise that the item was faulty (and not just unsatisfactory because of teething troubles) because it stopped working completely. When I returned it, I was told that, since more than 21 days had elapsed, it would need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair, which could take up to 28 days. This is a huge inconvenience since we both work from home, but the store manager was unable to offer anything other than the comment that we should have taken out the store’s insurance when we made the purchase.

In his opinion, the problem was the result of our decision not to do so. Really? When they had clearly sold me a faulty product? Perhaps the expectation nowadays is that products will fail and customers should provide for this?

Does anyone else remember the days when a retailer would replace a faulty item? And then retailers bemoan the fact that consumers turn to the internet. What possible incentive is there to buy from a shop? I wonder if any local retailers would have handled this differently and, if they would, let’s all shop there!

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