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Old 02-03-2013, 05:37 AM   #1
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WH Smith Replacement Policy

At Christmas I had a problem with my Glo, whereby it wouldn't switch on. I took into WH Smith's where I'd bought it and after testing it there and then, they gave me a new one off the shelf even though it was about three months since I'd bought it.
I've just had another similar problem and took it in again and was told they have been told off for replacing in store and that now there is no alternative to sending it off to Head Office. I've been in three stores and they've all told me the same. They will only do an in-store replacement if you have proof of purchase from less than 28 days. Seems a shame.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:00 AM   #2
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That's pretty typical of most every store in the US. Returns or exchanges only with receipt and within 30 days. Anything beyond that you deal with the manufacturer and their warranty for replacement and/or repair. There are some exceptions to that per store you might run into, but that's the general rule.
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Old 02-03-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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Quote your consumer rights to them (politely)

To quote from the Money Saving Expert (UK) website

The item must be of Satisfactory quality, As Described, Fit for purpose, And last a Reasonable length of Time.

Within six months: The shop must prove the item wasn't faulty when the transaction took place. After this period, you must prove it was.

If the item breaks the SAD FART rules above, your agreement's with the shop you bought it from, NOT the manufacturer. So the retailer MUST deal with it - don't let it palm you off.

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Old 02-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #4
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We have similar laws here in New Zealand. Our Consumer Guarantees law says that if there's a problem with something then the consumer can choose to deal with the store they bought the item from or directly with the manufacturer, the consumer's choice; the store must help you, they can't just say it's not their problem and force you to deal with the manufacturer. Also, goods must last a reasonable amount of time for the type of item they are; i.e. a TV that might come with a 12 month warranty must be fixed by the manufacturer even after 12 months because most people would expect a new TV to last for more than 12 months (say, maybe 5 years). It's no good the manufacturer saying the warranty is only for 12 months, they can't contract out of the law!

So my new Kobo Glo, which I think comes with a 12 month warranty, I would expect to last for at least 3 years. So if it breaks down within 3 years I can get it repaired or replaced for free.
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Old 02-04-2013, 03:43 PM   #5
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WH Smith are the retailer and are dealing with the faulty Glo, they aren't trying to palm the OP off to the manufacturer. It's just that the individual store can't replace it there and then, they have to return it to the WH Smith head office for replacements or refunds after the first 28 days. It's not ideal as you'll have to wait longer, and is one of the reasons I'd always look at buying a Kindle over a Kobo/Sony etc, but that's just down to Amazon being able to offer superb customer service and there's not really anything wrong with what WH Smith are doing, I'd say it's pretty standard.

moffattm I've no idea what the laws are like in practice in New Zealand, but I know here in the UK the "goods lasting a reasonable amount of time" is a factor too, but it's always an awful lot easier to get items fixed/replaced under warranty (one of the reasons John Lewis is such a highly rated shop is that they offer 2-5 year warranties on most electrical items, the 5-year guarantee was exactly why I bought my TV from them). You usually have to fight for it after the standard warranty.

With e-readers the most common failure I'd guess is the screen, or battery, and after two years I doubt you'd have much luck getting anywhere with a replacement because of either of those issues. Amazon might offer some people a reduction on a refurbished e-reader in these instances outside the warranty, but they are the exception.
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Old 02-04-2013, 04:16 PM   #6
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Because the law in NZ is a bit vague when it comes to how long an item should be reasonably expected to last, the Consumer Magazine did some research and came up with some figures. They don't mention e-book readers specifically, but they do have a section called "Cameras, camcorders, MP3 players" and I'd expect e-book readers to come under that section. They think that 5 - 10 years is reasonable. So if my new Kobo Glo breaks before I've had it for 5 years then I'm pretty certain to get it repaired or replaced.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_macd View Post
With e-readers the most common failure I'd guess is the screen, or battery, and after two years I doubt you'd have much luck getting anywhere with a replacement because of either of those issues. Amazon might offer some people a reduction on a refurbished e-reader in these instances outside the warranty, but they are the exception.
Under EU directive 1999/44/EC all consumer goods bought within the EU have a two year guarantee.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:40 AM   #8
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To be fair to Smith's, I posted the device on Saturday and received a brand new unit on Thursday, so not a bad service overall.
I rang them on Thursday morning (before the delivery, obviously) and they were really helpful on the phone too.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re a two-year guarantee, well if that is correct, it's funny then that there are a lot of 1-year warranties for many electrical items... but my point is really is that the most common fault with an e-reader is some kind of screen damage, which wouldn't be covered in any warranty. I know Amazon have been reported to exchange within the one-year warranty they give on Kindle's for this kind of damage, I'm not sure if it's done as standard or not though, nor am I sure what Kobo, Sony or any other would do for something like a cracked screen?

Anyway, great to hear that WH Smith sorted you out with a replacement pretty quickly. It's not ideal that you had to wait a few days, but it's not like you could use the faulty e-reader in the meantime, and that's a pretty quick turnaround. Hope you have better luck with your new Glo.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_macd View Post
Re a two-year guarantee, well if that is correct, it's funny then that there are a lot of 1-year warranties for many electrical items...
The manufacturers maybe printing the warranties as such to try to get you to believe that you don't have additional time. Those warranties will incoude phrasing like: you may have additional rights in your country which this warranty doesn't replace.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:14 AM   #11
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Yes murg, I think the discrepancy between what the EU might state as a 2-year guarantee and what warranty is offered by the manufacturer/seller is that they both are perfectly valid, but after the first year, unless a more extended warranty period is specified, it's more consumer rights that come into force.

The EU 2-year guarantee really just enforces consumer legislation that already exists in certain countries, at least in the UK the Sale of Goods Act is generally considered pretty strong consumer protection.

I know myself that for most things if all that is stated is a one-year guarantee, within that first year I'd expect a no-quibble new replacement, after that it'd be a case of depending on what the item is, arguing that it's not just wear and tear, and that it should last longer and I'd then be expecting a repair or replacement.
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Old 02-12-2013, 12:25 PM   #12
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As added protection I always use a credit card when purchasing items over £100 as you CC provider is jointly liable for the goods under the 1974 Consumer Credit Act. When I've been given the run around in the past by an online retailer, I've simply rang up my CC provider and said you're liable if I dont get my money back. They rang the company themselves, job done.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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I was wondering how I would stand regarding a refund for my Kobo Touch. Bought in WH Smiths (UK) 7 months ago, the e-reader itself works ok, but the Desktop App does not work. Have been exchanging (mostly useless) emails with the Kobo Helpline now for nearly 2 months, and they don't seem able to help.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:25 PM   #14
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Considering that the desktop app is absolutely not necessary to use the Touch, I don't think your odds are very good. Sorry.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:25 PM   #15
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Thought that might be the case. I haven't had success downloading books directly to the Touch; it only worked through the desktop app.
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