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Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration

Hits 25535 | Created 2008-04-18 | Modified 2008-04-24

We bought a cooker just over 12 months ago from Comet, a DeLongi, gas hob, 2 x electric ovens. Within a month or so, the left-hand themostat broke, heating it up to 200oC+ no matter what temperature was selected. That time it was fixed for free, so what happens just after the magical 12 months expires?

So, the right-hand-oven develops the same fault, and it's just over 12 months since we bought it...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the Sale of Goods Act 1979 says:

Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality.

Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description.

It is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible if goods do not conform to contract.

Basically, goods, especially 'white goods' should last as long as they would be expected to without breaking down.

"An item only needs to last as long as it is reasonable to expect it to, taking into account all the factors."

So, a thermostat should last longer than one year, on a cooker that cost almost 500? I think so... I really think so.

Comet don't.

In the shop they have the attitude that if it's longer than one year, and you didn't buy an 'extended warranty' then you're out of luck and must pay:

1. A call out fee to inspect your goods
2. Labour after that
3. Parts after that

After I started to mention rights they change their tune and say that parts 'might' be covered, and that labour would have to be worked out 'at the time of the call out'.

They said they couldn't do anything unless I paid 30 call-out / inspection fee there and then. Not knowing any better, I pay and walk away, calling my sister who works in this area.

She tells me that the company (Comet) should be responsible for repair / replacement, and that I shouldn't have to pay anything. I go home and read up on the Act, then call them back.

I speak to a 'supervisor' (they say there are no managers on site...) called Laura Trotter who tells me that:

1. Yes, she can refund the 30
2. But that will mean cancelling the visit
3. Unless I pay 30, nothing will happen, and I can write to head office if that makes me happy

She says that even if the cooker is at fault, and the part is major one, and it should last longer than 12 and a bit months, I would still have to pay the fee, which is non-refundable, and that even then she couldn't promise that I wouldn't be charged labour on the day.

I say I'll check my rights and get back to her.

I have just sent a nice email to my Local Trading Standards Office with the details, to see what they say. Next stop, Citizen's Advice.

I'm a bit depressed, as Comet is so huge that I'm sure they'll just give me the run-around, though I reckon I would win if I went to small claims court.

From reading up, it looks like I could get it repaired myself, at a reasonable price, then claim it back through the courts. Not an option I want to pursue!

Updates as they happen....

23rd April 2006
Got an email from Consumer Direct today:

Dear Ralpharama

Thank you for your enquiry to Consumer Direct dated 21/04/08 Your reference number for this case is XX-999999 be quoted in all further correspondence regarding this case.

Based on the information supplied within your email the key facts of the case appear to be as follows:

Your cooker recently became faulty; as it is over 1 year old Comet have refused to help.

Under the SALE OF GOODS ACT 1979 (AS AMENDED) all goods supplied by a trader to a consumer must be of a satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose, and as described. If this is not the case, then you may seek repair, replacement or some form of refund as appropriate. Your rights against the trader last up to 6 years, depending on how long a reasonable person would expect the goods to last. Under the Sale of Goods Act, any faults which occur within the first 6 months are assumed to have been present at the time of sale, and have only just become apparent. After 6 months, the 'burden of proof' is on the consumer to prove that the fault is not due to neglect, misuse or fair wear & tear. The trader may ask you to have the goods inspected to confirm the fault is due to manufacture. If you incur costs as a result of this you can claim these costs back.

As such you can pursue Comet for free repairs or a replacement; or a partial refund (taking into account usage). We would advise that you discuss this once more with Comet - specifically, insist on speaking to the manager, make it clear that you have reported this matter to us, you have been made aware of your rights and, if the trader is insistent that they will not repair at no cost to yourself, you will seek further advice.

If you do not receive a satisfactory response, or if you require any further advice or information about this case, please do not hesitate to contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. Do not reply to this email, or send an email to advice@consumerdirect-northwest.gov.uk, as this address is for outbound mail only, and is unmonitored.

Thank you for your enquiry.


Consumer Direct Northwest

24rd April 2006
Well, well, well. I called Comet as advised and very calmly told them what Consumer Direct has told me. There was a transfer to a supervisor, who listened to the same thing, and then said, 'So, you've been in touch with Consumer Direct and they told you that this should be free?'.

'Yes,' I say.

'Okay then,' they say, 'that will be free, when would you like the engineer to call?'

Brilliant! Thanks Consumer Direct!

On a sour note, it's terrible that a big company acts like this, obviously to make cash, as most people won't bother to go this far. Boo hiss Comet, play fair! This makes a mockery of their 'extended warranty' that they sell to people, as you are covered for most failures anyway under this act!

Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Keltay Hits | Last Modified 2008-12-24
Thank you for sharing your experience with us web shoppers. I was just browsing for a cooker at Comets well actually I have purchased one. At least I know what to do if it becomes fualty & out of warrenty.

You have done well your persistence has Paid off. I will save your blog in case of any future issues I may have. Its good to know the The Sale of Goods Act.

Thanks again.

Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Jimbo Hits | Last Modified 2009-01-20
I am having a similar problem with Asda and Electrolux. Your report has given me encouragement.
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Hayley Brown Hits | Last Modified 2009-03-17
In January 2008 we bought a Zenith 100 ZE10 Fra Leisure cooker from Sparkworld. In august I reported a fault that the oven door on the fan oven would not shut properly. An engineer came out and inspected to say that the oven door could not be mended as it had twisted. We then received a letter from Sparkworld saying that the cooker was beyond economical repair and that this was due to us putting excessive weight on the door. First of all this is a glass oven door so if excessive force or weight had been used the glass would have broken and secondly unless I was superhuman how would I twist metal...it must have been caused by excessive heat. Sparkworld nor the manufacturer are accepting that the goods are not fit for purpose and now we are going to the small claims court in June 2009...it is refreshing to now that large companies do not have any common sense when it comes to service.
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by C Morris Hits | Last Modified 2009-03-25
I am taking Comets to small claims court for a frost free fridge freezer which they sold me that after three months built layers of ice not just in the freezer section but the refridgertor section as well! After 7 visits they still have not fixed it and are offering only a replacement. I want a refund and compensation for the amount of time they have wasted in fiddling me around. They refused so I am taking them to court. Anyone interested in what happens let me know at chrismorris121@yahoo.co.uk
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Janet Hits | Last Modified 2009-04-10
I have recently bought the same cooker and the multifunction oven door exploded twice on the first cooker which was replaced yesterday. Whilst doing the burn off procedure today the oven door has exploded again, has any body else had this problem
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Andrew Hits | Last Modified 2009-04-19
Well done, I have the same issue with Comet in Carlisle - bought a laptop and its faulty - they refuse to do anything and the store manager even told me "he did not care" what we do. I am raising small claims against them - my advice DO NOT BUY FROM COMET - they are dishonest and their "customer service" in Hull are a sham.
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Hits | Last Modified 2010-03-25
Hayley Brown I'd love to your outcome as I have exactly the same problem with a Zenith
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by sandra Hits | Last Modified 2010-09-19
having same problem with comet - fridge freezer 7 days out of guarentee and say I have to pay for an engineer - will try consumer direct
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Ann Hits | Last Modified 2012-01-08
am having some problems with New World cooker bought from Currys, so thanks for some extra advice.
Comment Comet, the Sale of Goods Act, a Cooker, some frustration comment by Ralpharama Hits | Last Modified 2012-01-09
Good luck Ann!

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