Whose responsibility anyway?

In Industry News On

Dear Editor,
Barry Street, as always, is right. Junk equipment, in particular very low cost DVDs and digital boxes, LCD and Plasma TVs, have become a real problem for almost all of us who offer a repair service.

The majority of Internet suppliers inform the customers who have faulty equipment that they must contact the manufacturer or locally appointed DSN repairer. Customers who have bought a quality product on the net have been shifted about from pillar to post by the net trader. By the time they find us, the appointed DSN repairer for the product, they are very frustrated, often using abusive language. Ironically, the vast majority of them blame the manufacturer for failing to supply an easily accessible back-up service, not the Internet supplier.
In many cases, the problems are caused by poor delivery or installation, some goods are damaged, but in the majority of cases these are several months old products which have developed a fault under warranty.
In every case these folk have been driven to despair by a lack of support from Internet suppliers who sell at such low margins they are inevitably going to fail to support the service needs of their customers.
There is a law to protect consumers from this problem but that law is not being enforced by the very people who should be doing so, Trading Standards.
No one can work on the thin margins these unscrupulous people try to, as they do not measure success by customer satisfaction or profit, only by sales volume. They flout the law by making statements which are illegal, both in writing on their Internet sites and on the phone when approached by customers. This issue will continue to be a real problem until Trading Standards clamp down on these practices and apply the letter of the law.
Syd Smith
Walkers TV Radio & Music Centre Ltd, Aberystwyth
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