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Guarantees: worth the paper they're written on?

vaevisovaeviso Posts: 4
edited May 2010 in Campaign
I'd be grateful for advice/informed opinion on a particular issue. I won't go into specifics because the situation is still ongoing.

I own a bike from a major Italian manufacturer that I bought outside the UK (but within the EU) from one of the manufacturer's authorised dealers. Two and a bit years later (and now back in the UK), said bike starts to make some worrying noises. I take it to another of the manufacturer's authorised dealers (also a well-respected frame builder) who tells me that he suspects it is the VERY expensive carbon frame, although he can't positively confirm it. No problem I think, it's still within the manufacturer's 36 month warranty period so I'll send it back. Not so simple - the manufacturer's UK distributor state that if I wish to do that then I will have to pay to have the bike stripped, pay to send it to them and if the manufacturer demands it, also pay to have it sent to Italy. I didn't get as far as asking if I would also have to pay for a repaired/replacement frame to be sent back to me and then rebuilt, but I expect the answer is "yes".

My question is this; can anyone think of any other product where the customer has to pay in order that a manufacturer can honour a legally binding guarantee? Is this unique to bikes? Is it legal (particulary since it is not stated in the terms of the guarantee)? Is it just a cynical ploy to deter customers from claiming under guarantee? Is the guarantee worth the paper it's written on?

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  • AapjeAapje Posts: 77
    I've heard the same story about various other products.

    Ultimately, the manufacturer has no obligations to you other than the voluntary promise that they made, which is probably written in such a way that you have to pay for all this. You bought from a dealer who is responsible for providing you with a bike that is fit for purpose and thus should last a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately the problem occurred after more than 2 years, because EU law is very helpful to consumer if a product fails before that:

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/bargains-a ... age_id=131

    Since you bought in another country, you would still have to pay for shipping to the company you bought the product from, if you can get them to honor the warranty better, so that probably won't help you much.

    Ultimately, this is a case of bad service that is combatted best by naming and shaming. So, which manufacturer is it?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    You made the "contract" with the ones selling the bike originally, the UK distributor is likely to be a totally unconnected company and so doesn't really have to help you at all. So to be honest it doesn't sound like bad service to me.

    I don't see why you would need to pay for stripping the bike, as you could do that your self anyway.
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  • vaevisovaeviso Posts: 4
    I'm not convinced. The guarantee, which is in addition to my statutory rights, is from the manufacturer and as far as I know (and even though it is given voluntarily), is legally binding. This is a product that is sold all over the cycling world but in the EU is covered by relevant EU legislation. The UK distributor, just like the distributor in the country I bought it, is obliged to honour the manufacturer's guarantee obligations. The dealer and the distributor can only be intermediaries between me and the manufacturer; it is the manufacturer who has committed himself to a guarantee for 36 months from date of purchase. Any cost incurred in honouring the guarantee must be a matter for the distributor/dealer to resolve with the manufacturer, not the customer. It's not my fault it's faulty!

    Reddragon - even if I had the time, tools and knowledge (which I don't), why on earth should I strip it myself, let alone pay anyone else to do it? If my car develops a fault within the warranty period I don't have to take the faulty component out myself and return it to the manufacturer at my own expense. That obligation is fulfilled by the dealer on the manufacturer's behalf. You wouldn't contemplate doing that with any other product, would you?
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I'm not convinced the UK distributor is obliged to do anything. If you reckon it's the manufacturer you have the warranty with, then deal with them rather than the UK distributor.
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  • vaevisovaeviso Posts: 4
    I'm not convinced the UK distributor is obliged to do anything. If you reckon it's the manufacturer you have the warranty with, then deal with them rather than the UK distributor.

    1. The guarantee says to go through the dealer network.
    2. I don't speak Italian.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    vaeviso wrote:
    I'm not convinced the UK distributor is obliged to do anything. If you reckon it's the manufacturer you have the warranty with, then deal with them rather than the UK distributor.

    1. The guarantee says to go through the dealer network.
    2. I don't speak Italian.

    So do as the guarantee says and go to your dealer.
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    vaeviso wrote:
    I'm not convinced. The guarantee, which is in addition to my statutory rights, is from the manufacturer and as far as I know (and even though it is given voluntarily), is legally binding. This is a product that is sold all over the cycling world but in the EU is covered by relevant EU legislation. The UK distributor, just like the distributor in the country I bought it, is obliged to honour the manufacturer's guarantee obligations. The dealer and the distributor can only be intermediaries between me and the manufacturer; it is the manufacturer who has committed himself to a guarantee for 36 months from date of purchase. Any cost incurred in honouring the guarantee must be a matter for the distributor/dealer to resolve with the manufacturer, not the customer. It's not my fault it's faulty!

    Reddragon - even if I had the time, tools and knowledge (which I don't), why on earth should I strip it myself, let alone pay anyone else to do it? If my car develops a fault within the warranty period I don't have to take the faulty component out myself and return it to the manufacturer at my own expense. That obligation is fulfilled by the dealer on the manufacturer's behalf. You wouldn't contemplate doing that with any other product, would you?


    The guarantee is only as good as the terms of the guarantee.

    It is basically a contract. If it say you have to dance naked on London Bridge before they will consider repairing your bike, then that is what you have to do if you want to use the guarantee.

    your statutory rights relate to the rights in the country where the contract was made, and this was not in England from what you say.
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    vaeviso wrote:
    .... The UK distributor, just like the distributor in the country I bought it, is obliged to honour the manufacturer's guarantee obligations. .....


    Complete rubbish

    The MAUFACTURER is obliged to honour the terms of the MANUFACTURERS guarantee and only the terms of the guarantee


    The distributor is not a party to the guarantee and has no obligation to honour it at all.

    As has been said by others, the distributor in the UK is almost certainly a seperate company to the distributor where you bought the bike.

    Stop bleating, look at the terms of the guarantee and comply with those terms if you want to make a claim under it.
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  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    vaeviso wrote:
    I'm not convinced the UK distributor is obliged to do anything. If you reckon it's the manufacturer you have the warranty with, then deal with them rather than the UK distributor.

    1. ....
    2. I don't speak Italian.


    TOUGH!


    That's not the manufacturer or dealer's problem is it?
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  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,373
    vaeviso wrote:
    I don't speak Italian.

    Try this:

    Fissare la mia bicicletta si sporca canaglia marcio, prima che io vengo lì e ti uccidono con ripieno spaghetti su per il culo fino a quando non esce dalla bocca
  • beverickbeverick Posts: 3,461
    spen666 wrote:
    vaeviso wrote:
    .... The UK distributor, just like the distributor in the country I bought it, is obliged to honour the manufacturer's guarantee obligations. .....


    Complete rubbish

    The MAUFACTURER is obliged to honour the terms of the MANUFACTURERS guarantee and only the terms of the guarantee


    The distributor is not a party to the guarantee and has no obligation to honour it at all.

    As has been said by others, the distributor in the UK is almost certainly a seperate company to the distributor where you bought the bike.

    Stop bleating, look at the terms of the guarantee and comply with those terms if you want to make a claim under it.

    As ever Spen, unnecessarily and offesively harsh but pretty much on the button. The only caveat would be if the guarantee contains a clause specifically obliging the distributor to commit to some form of action. Unlikely in this case but not impossible.

    Bob
  • spen666spen666 Posts: 17,709
    beverick wrote:
    spen666 wrote:
    vaeviso wrote:
    .... The UK distributor, just like the distributor in the country I bought it, is obliged to honour the manufacturer's guarantee obligations. .....


    Complete rubbish

    The MAUFACTURER is obliged to honour the terms of the MANUFACTURERS guarantee and only the terms of the guarantee


    The distributor is not a party to the guarantee and has no obligation to honour it at all.

    As has been said by others, the distributor in the UK is almost certainly a seperate company to the distributor where you bought the bike.

    Stop bleating, look at the terms of the guarantee and comply with those terms if you want to make a claim under it.

    As ever Spen, unnecessarily and offesively harsh but pretty much on the button. The only caveat would be if the guarantee contains a clause specifically obliging the distributor to commit to some form of action. Unlikely in this case but not impossible.

    Bob


    As the bike was bought in a foreign country and from a foreign distributor, there is no relationship between the UK distributor and the customer.

    I can see little prospect of an organisation not being a party to the contract having any contractual obligation to the customer.
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  • ultimobiciultimobici Posts: 44
    vaeviso wrote:
    I'm not convinced the UK distributor is obliged to do anything. If you reckon it's the manufacturer you have the warranty with, then deal with them rather than the UK distributor.

    1. The guarantee says to go through the dealer network.
    2. I don't speak Italian.

    Under UK law, and I believe many European country's laws, your contract is with the original vendor. That said, some manufacturers are a little more accommodating than others.

    Just because their Italian doesn't mean that they don't speak English. All you need to do is call them and ask - "Parlare Inglese? Or email them and use Babelfish or a dictionary.

    I had a similar problem with a pair of DMT shoes I bought in Italy. Yellow were not prepared to help me as I had not bought them here. They did suggest calling DMT direct though. Next day I called them and they picked up my shoes using DHL at their expense. A week later I had my shoes returned to me by DHL. I paid €110 for them originally and it cost DMT £39 each way! Oh and the person I dealt with spoke perfect English!
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