Freecom HD from Dabs died - what to do next?

  Brazils 18:59 01 Nov 04

I purchased a 250GB external USB2 HD from Dabs in August. It died this morning. I contacted Freecom's help line today and they have sent me a shipping label to return it to them for repair.
I commented, I should I be dealing with Dabs, and the very nice man at Freecom, advised that I would be much better off just dealing with them. He advised it should be fixed in about a week.
I looked at Dab's site and I'm looking at at least 6 weeks!

Somehow I don't feel happy. The law would deem the HD faulty when purchased, as it's less than 6 months old. I feel I should get a refund or new replacement, not a repair or a refurbished replacement offered by freecom. In order to get this I would have to get in a fight with Dabs. I don't feel up to that (ill health). I also don't fancy waiting a couple of months. I know what Dabs are like to deal with! I also have to pay the costs to return it to Freecom.

Any comments or advice would be appreciated.

  Forum Editor 19:23 01 Nov 04

at least in part anyway.

You are quite correct in stating that any fault that develops within six months of purchase is deemed to have existed at the point of purchase unless the supplier can demonstrate otherwise, but.........

Under current consumer law you aren't automatically entitled to a refund, and certainly not to a replacement. The supplier has the right to attempt a repair and return the item to you "within a reasonable time". What is "reasonable" in terms of time isn't defined in the regulations - each case is judged on its circumstances, should the matter end up in court.

In many cases it is indeed faster to deal directly with the manufacturer - particularly in the case of complex electronic items which could not be repaired by a retailer in any event. To protect your position it would be worth writing to Dabs to record the fact that a) the drive has failed, and b) that you are dealing with the manufacturer because you feel it's the shortest line between A and B.

Make sure that you include a line in your letter to the effect that although you are dealing direct with the maker you consider Dabs to liable for the repair (or replacement, should a repair not be feasible) and that you reserve all your rights in law.

  gadanga 21:50 01 Nov 04

I had a lot of problem with Dabs when they supplied me a faulty motherboard. It took 5 months for mmmme to get a refund from them after sending the item to them 3 times!! Finally I sent them a letter advising them that I was planning to take them to court. This produced the desired effect.
Unless they have improved a lot recently, be prepared for a long battle & good luck

  Brazils 22:14 01 Nov 04

I spent a while compiling an email online, on Dabs site tonight, only to be frustrated by the fact that I have received, in reply, an automated response and answer. It's so frustrating to realise that my carefully written comments haven't even been read! I wish I had taken a copy before sending it as I can't remember what I said!!!!!

My question is, if the email isn't read, then why not just supply a link to their answer?

Looks like I'll be dealing with Freecom direct. Their free helpline seems to be very good.

Thanks for the advice Forum Editor. Doesn't the law state that the product must be of satisfactory quality. Durability must come under this heading. Therefore I would think I have a good case for a replacement/refund wouldn't I?

Of course this is all theory as I doubt I can be bothered with the fight!

  1514 22:43 01 Nov 04

You should have a copy in your "Sent" box?

  Forum Editor 23:19 01 Nov 04

Under the supply of goods and services to consumers regulations (which include the six-month rule) the retailer has the right to attempt a repair in the event of a fault appearing.

The fact that you have been offered a fast turnaround by Freecom tends to make me think that it might be the expedient thing to go for in the circumstances, bearing in mind that you probably have data stored on the drive. Better to get that back I would have thought, than risk losing it in exchange for a new drive. I'm assuming that the drive simply needs a new electronic component, and that the storage media is undamaged, in which case you'll end up with what amounts to a new drive anyway.

  spuds 00:37 02 Nov 04

Your consumer rights click here

  Brazils 08:42 02 Nov 04

You have to contact Dabs via an online email contact form, not by using normal email.

  Brazils 08:49 02 Nov 04

I have decided to go with freecom, and I do hope they can save my data. I will take your advice and inform Dabs of my actions. I agree I have to allow a repair attempt, but if a repair is not possible, Freecom will send me a refurbished unit, not a new one. Thank you for your help.

spuds - thanks for the link.

  Stuartli 18:01 02 Nov 04

I was faced with a similar situation recently when my 15-month-old Western Digital 600JB HDD appeared to have died the death.

As it's got a three year warranty (that's what the JB indicates by the way) I rang the number on the original receipt.

I was informed by a female voice that all contact is now by e-mails with the company....:-)

As I was unable to send or receive e-mails at the time this proved absolutely useless.

Eventually it turned out that the HDD was alright, but I've since written to dabs stating I will not be buying any more goods from them, even though I've done so since 1988, as I might have been without a replacement HDD for some considerable time.

The reply stated that my comments were being "passed on to the relevant department" - more likely ignored.

There should always be at least one means of contacting a company direct.

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