Credit Card Rights

  DongQuyCao 15:29 21 Feb 05
Locked

If I pay for a new PC by credit card, do I have a legal right to reject the goods on the following grounds:

1) Cooling Off Period (within 7 days?): reject the goods even though there are no faults

2) Reject the goods on the basis that there is a minor fault with the product and I do not want the company to fix the fault

3) Reject the goods on the basis that there is a major fault with the product and I do not want the company to fix the fault

4) Reject the goods after the company fails to fix the problems after one or more attempts

If the PC company had charged my Credit Card account and I found myself able to reject the goods, will I still have to pay my credit card bill and then chase the PC company for a refund? Or do I have to contact the credit card company for them to deal with it and credit my account?

  Diodorus Siculus 15:40 21 Feb 05

For such specific queries, it may be best to ask your CC provider directly; you have the 7 day cooling off period but will have to pay the cost of returning the goods.

  Stuartli 15:41 21 Feb 05

Credit card companies vary slightly in their terms and conditions - might be worth reading up your own company's synopsis.

Re your first query. Something on the following lines is probably what you are thinking about:

click here

  DongQuyCao 15:51 21 Feb 05

OK, thanks for the advice. I was just hoping there were standardised laws that Credit Card companies were legally bound by. My credit card company is HSBC. I'm most likely to use option 3 if it came to it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 16:14 21 Feb 05

Under option 3 you are covered by the Sale of Goods Act.

Goods have to be fit for the purpose of which they are sold or you can demand you money back.

This is regardless of how you paid for them.

If paid on card then the money is refunded to the card.

  Stuartli 16:17 21 Feb 05

Are you asking your question in the future tense or have you already acquired a system?

If in the future, then your "I'm most likely to use option 3 if it came to it" option seems a bit naughty....:-)

  961 16:17 21 Feb 05

As I understand it your legal right to reject the goods is not affected by the fact that you did, or did not, pay by credit card. It is governed solely depending on whether the goods are fit for the purpose for which they were sold. On that basis your right under 2 is, I suggest, rather shaky

Another right is given to you under the distance selling regulations if you buy via mail order or over the internet. This lets you return the goods for any reason within 7 days provided they are as new. You will have to pay the return costs in most cases although some retailers do not enforce this

You also have rights under s75 of the consumer credit act. If you pay by credit (not debit) card and the goods are unsatisfactory or not delivered you can complain to the credit card company and they will help you to reclaim your money. You will be required to pay the credit card bill as normal and the refund may take several months as the retailer has rights as well and can contest the demand. If he has gone bust obviously you are in a strong position

As in anything to do with contract law various suppliers and banks will put their own interpretation onto the regulations, and in particular it is likely that banks will argue that s75 does not apply to goods bought abroad

In all cases it is advisable not to open software disks until you are satisfied that you are going to keep a computer

Trading standards and citizens advice are a good starting point if these troubles arise

The Visa organisation does seem on occasion to stipulate that banks should help in this sort of situation when a debit card bearing the Visa logo has been used but this is rather shrouded in mystery and it is hard to get specific details of what they will or will not do to help

  DongQuyCao 16:29 21 Feb 05

Thanks again for the help and advice. Stuartli,I will be ordering a Mesh system and have asked this question because of the numerous threads on poor customer service about them. I don't want to endure the stress that some forum members have undeservedly experienced.

Naughty? I think option 3 is very reasonable especially if we're within our rights to reject goods under the "cooling off period". After all, if you buy say, a new car, and one of the wheels fall off you don't take it back to the garage to get it fixed - you get a new one or refund! :-)

  Greengage 16:45 21 Feb 05

I think you have used a wrong example with the car - I don't think you will get a refund or a new one unless you are willing to get into legal dialogue for a year or two!

  FelixTCat 16:59 21 Feb 05

If you bought by mail order, you have the right under the Distance Selling Regulations to return the goods for any reason (or no reason) provided you give notice within 7 days of receiving the goods. As stated before, the supplier does not have to pay the return carriage.

The Consumer Credit Act makes the credit provider (e.g. the credit card company) jointly and severally liable with the supplier of goods, provided that the cost of the goods is between £100 and £30000, even if you only paid a part of it by credit card. This means that the credit card company is just as liable as the supplier and you can pursue both if there is a problem.

If you do have a problem, contact the credit card company immediately and dispute the transaction. If you have not yet paid the bill, you shouldn't have to pay the disputed amount; no interest should be applied to the amount in dispute until the dispute has been resolved. If you have already paid, it puts the credit card company on notice that you may be involving them in a dispute.

You cannot normally reject goods for minor cosmetic damage, unless the appearance of the goods is central to their purpose. So for an expensive computer with a fancy case you probably could reject for minor damage to the front (but not to the back) but you couldn't for a plain jane case.

For damage which affects the usability of the goods, it is always a useful ploy to reject the goods if they are not of satisfactory quality or capable of performing as you might reasonably expect. You can then accept a repair (if you choose), making it clear that by doing so you will retain your right to reject if you are not satisfied with the repair.

If the goods fail in use within 90 days of delivery, there is an assumption in law that it was caused by a manufacturing defect and was thus present at the time of sale. This is normally grounds for rejecting the goods; the supplier has to prove that the fault was not present at delivery.

Even if the goods are valued at less that £100 and you pay by Visa credit card, Visa will consider a disputed payment for up to 90 days, e.g. in cases of non-delivery.

As ever in these things, going in with all guns blazing does not help resolve a problem. Always approach the supplier first calmly and politely - it is normally in their interest to solve it and keep you as a customer. It helps to know your rights as sometimes they will try to BS you. More often than not it is the credit card company that will try to deny that they are jointly liable and when you contact them you may well have to demand to speak to a supervisor to get a payment put on hold. Always take details of name, time of contact and substance of coversation and confirm it in writing as soon as possible.

  Stuartli 18:03 21 Feb 05

You have read a handful of complaints from apparently unhappy Mesh customers and ignored the fact that many hundreds, thousands even, like myself, have nothing but praise for the company.

As you have written your query in the future tense, I am still firmly of the belief that your chosen approach to something that hasn't even arisen is, to put it diplomatically, is (very) naughty.

If you were in business would you appreciate a customer adopting such an attitude before buying anything from you?

Well at least Mesh will be prepared for any eventuality...:-))

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