The Office of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO) has released a new report focusing on televisions after receiving a number of complaints from consumers.
The group said that the majority of complaints centred around cracked television screens after consumers opted to take delivery in-store and transport the TV set to their home by themselves.
It outlined a recent case where a consumer bought a TV set on the 19 May 2019 and fetched it on the 20 May 2019.
“She approached the CGSO after the supplier refused to replace the TV when she discovered that the screen is cracked,” the group said.
“She advised the CGSO that before taking delivery in store the TV was checked by the salesperson who took it out from the box and switched it on to show her that there were no cracks.”
The salesperson then switched it off and put it back in the box, the CGSO said.
“The complainant submitted that she placed the TV in a trolley and went home. When she got home, she switched on the TV and there was a crack.
“The complainant then took the TV back to the supplier. The supplier declined to replace the TV on the basis that the TV was in her possession when the damage occurred.”
After considering all the evidence presented by both the complainant and the supplier the CGSO made its assessment.
“The complainant was not happy with the response provided by the supplier that it cannot exchange the TV as damages occurred while in her possession,” it said.
Section 56 of the Consumer Protection Act provides that consumers have the right to goods that are safe and of good quality except where the goods have been altered or modified in any manner contrary to the instructions, or after leaving the control of the producer, importer, distributor or retailer.
“This implied warranty is valid for a period of six months and is in addition to any other manufacturers warranty. If goods are defective due to no fault of the consumer, the consumer can choose whether they want a “refund, repair or replacement.”
In this case, the supplier relied on the fact that the TV was checked in-store and the defect occurred after the TV left the supplier’s control, CGSO said.
The group said it ultimately had no option to close the case and advise the consumer to refer the complaint to the National Consumer Commission.