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Consumer sales act and who is responsible, problem with sewing machine!
stevensan
post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 18:48
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Hello all. Previously had great help with problems here, so here goes again!

We purchased a sewing machine around two years ago for Mrs Stevensan from a shop in Stirling, Scotland. After negociating the price we agreed to buy on debit card for £7000. It wasn't until the debit card was out that he said he needed to phone the manufacturer to take payment as they were just the "agent".

When we got the machine home it did not work because the auto needle threader was not functional, and it immediately went back to the shop to be repaired. The problem was the needle threader had not been lubricated when manufactured. Three months later there was another problem that stopped it stitching, and again it went back for repair. A month later a 3rd problem appeared when the welded catch on the stitch plate broke.

It then worked fine until two weeks before the end of the two year manufacturers warranty, when it stopped working completely (wouldn't turn on). It is now back at the manufacturer for repair (Again) and they are blaming a blown power supply, which they are saying is our problem, not theirs. It has been used on a surge protector plug, and not one other electronic in the house has ever been damaged.

I want to reject the sewing machine entirely under the consumer goods act (?) as it is simply not fit for purpose. The shop in Stirling is refusing to do anything, as they say my contract is with the manufacturer (VSM) and VSM are saying they only needed to repair it while under warranty after which it is my problem. I don't agree with their interpretation as the product is an expensive, premium sewing machine. It should not continually break down (4 times in 2 years) and an item like this should be expected to work for many years.

So questions are:

1) Is my interpretation correct, and I should be able to reject it, for a full refund, under the consumer goods act?
2) Is the shop liable, or do I have to chase the manufacturer only? (I do not have an address for the manufacturer, as everything has been via the shop, who are now denying any liability and directing me to talk to the manufacturer)
3) I am currently living in England - can I use moneyclaim online, or as the shop is in Scotland do I need to go through the Scottish system/Sheriff court?
4) At the moment everything has been verbal and we've essentially reached deadlock, with neither the shop or manufacturer willing to do anything. Is my next step a letter before action, and if so should I be offering mediation (and if so, what?)

thanks in advance!

stevensan
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post Thu, 12 Jul 2018 - 18:48
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southpaw82
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:27
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QUOTE (stevensan @ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 10:17) *
Once the sale had gone through, I received a receipt from VSM with their address (in England) and company details on it. I had not seen these at the time of paying. The delivery address was the name and address of the shop.

Now, if you are right and I can go after both companies, it sounds like it would be better to do this via the English system as the Scottish system is limited to £3K via the small claims process whereas I can go after the full amount in the English system. That says I should only go after the manufacturer not the agent and stick to English law, but it would be good to tie in the shop as well and do it via English law. Will this be possible?

If you think English law governed the contract I don’t see why you can’t sue both parties in the county court (just not via MCOL).


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Any comments made do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon. No lawyer/client relationship should be assumed nor should any duty of care be owed.
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notmeatloaf
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:42
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OP have you asked them to keep the power supply so that you can have it inspected?

The issue you have, having repaired white goods a while back, is that power supply units are generally very simple and reliable. I didn't replace many, but most of there were where there were power supply issues. In civil cases after six months you need to prove on balance of probabilities that the fault was a manufacturing defect rather than a fault caused after the machine was installed - so keeping that power supply is crucial.

I would also say you need to consider carefully who you had the sales contract with. Did you actually collect the machine from the shop?

The CRA is vague about what exactly constitutes a sales contract

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/1...ction/5/enacted

but you need to be careful to go after them - or whoever you choose make it clear that you are pursuing them because of that contract. I don't agree with naming two parties even if it were possible.

You can IMO under CRA only have a contract with one company per transaction. It is very clear that a trader cannot contract out their liabilities You could move on to agent/principal liabilities but why bother when the CRA provides a better and more favourable framework for you.

To me it sounds like your sales contract is with VSM because the payment was made to them, but it is an unsatisfactory way to do business.


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My username is notmeatloaf because I'm not made of meat loaf. I hope that clarifies things.
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henrik777
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 11:42
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QUOTE (StuartBu @ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 02:56) *
Scotland does have a Small Claims procedure- held in Sheriff Courts i believe.


That was replaced with the "simple procedure" in November 2016. The limit is £5000.
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cp8759
post Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 16:58
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 12:27) *
QUOTE (stevensan @ Fri, 13 Jul 2018 - 10:17) *
Once the sale had gone through, I received a receipt from VSM with their address (in England) and company details on it. I had not seen these at the time of paying. The delivery address was the name and address of the shop.

Now, if you are right and I can go after both companies, it sounds like it would be better to do this via the English system as the Scottish system is limited to £3K via the small claims process whereas I can go after the full amount in the English system. That says I should only go after the manufacturer not the agent and stick to English law, but it would be good to tie in the shop as well and do it via English law. Will this be possible?

If you think English law governed the contract I don’t see why you can’t sue both parties in the county court (just not via MCOL).

+1, technically choice of law and choice of venue are separate questions but I don't see that becoming an issue here.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
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