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Has anyone successfully had a pushchair replaced due to malfunction?

(16 Posts)
Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 17:01:48

I hope someone can advise me on the best way to approach this as I've reached a bit of an impasse with the manufacturer/distributors and don't know what to do next.

My mountain buggy brake hasn't been easy to use since I got it last November (thought it was February but it was actually November) and finally jammed on completely in Sept/Oct.

Contacted retailer, who isn't local, and he said he'd arrange for it to go back to the distributor for a repair.

I had to pay for this, anyway, a couple of weeks later it comes back, appears to be working initially but after a few offs anf ons, clearly isn't. It is still jamming on and is now also very difficult to apply.

I can't use the brake without getting down on my knees to take it off or put it on manually.

I've told the retailer this, he has asked MB what they did, they say they 'inspected' it after it was 'fixed' and think it works fine hmm

However it worked Ok when I received it too, it just stopped after a few goes. I think they probably just didn't test it more than once or twice. It also works Ok when you use one end of the brake, but not if you try and use the other for some reason - so maybe they tried the working side. I don't know.

Anyway retailer is still trying to get somewhere on my behalf, and consumer direct have advised me to suggest a third party inspection/report - so I have done so.

I am really worried, firstly that they think I am making it up (why would I?!!) and secondly that they might insist it works when it doesn't, and refuse to agree to third party thingy. And I don't want to ahve to start writing heavy letters to my retailer as I like him and don't want to fall out sad

What can I do? It's sitting here, jammed, I can't use the bloody thing, and they can't fix it now as they have done more damage by carving some of the plastic off, so will either have to replace the entire chassis or I don't know what I'll do.

It's meant to have a 3 year warranty. HA!!!!! Sorry I had to laugh at that because it's so not the case in practise.

Thanks for any experiences of getting a result.

PDR Mon 26-Oct-09 17:44:40

I am suprised they even bothered to fix it!

My 16 month old Quinny Buzz developed a problem (chassis randomly folding down when baby inside!) and I was offered a full refund or a replacement.

As it happeded, the colourway I originally bought had been changed so I opted for the refund and bought something else.

This was Boots - when I took the buggy in to the shop I tried to show them what the problem was and they didn't even want to see. They refunded my card there and then and I just left them with the buggy!

It had a 2yr warranty I think...

Can you not speak to MB direct and bypass the distributor?

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 17:51:29

Wow, that's brilliant customer service. Mind you a chassis folding up with baby inside is rather more dramatic than randomly self applying brake - even if equally dangerous - I'm glad you didn't have a problem.

Well, I did speak to the distributors myself, and got the very very nice customer service person who assured me it was their mission to return it to full working order...it just seems to be a different message to what the retailer is getting from the CS manager who doesn't believe there's even anything wrong with it.

Good idea to go direct to the actual manufacturer. I think I might have more luck that way. Thanks for the idea.

Watchtheworldcomealivetonight Mon 26-Oct-09 17:57:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 17:58:57

Bugger. There is no manufacturer, as they have gone bust - it is distributor or nothing, what's more they're not making them any more, they're being discontinued.

She did reassure me they still have spare parts available though...they also made a cut in the handlebar when they had it, I was always really careful with that, as I hate having a damaged handlebar, it feels awful to push angry

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 18:00:11

Wow, Watchtheworld (I love your name btw!) smile

That is super indeed.

Maybe there is some small workshop in NZ where they are still producing them, will have to have a search.

poguemahone Mon 26-Oct-09 18:06:09

I had a Graco that kept jamming open (or closed. Can't remember which). I took it back to Toys r Us for repair 5 times and it was away for weeks at a time. Toys r Us gave spectacularly bad customer service (never returning phone calls, promising and missing return dates etc).

Finally I wrote to Toys r Us HQ in UK and their global HQ in USA detailing their failings and threatening to take them to small claims court. They gave me a full refund. grin

PDR Mon 26-Oct-09 18:12:45

I think you need to up the pressure - maybe suggest they refund/replace as this seems to be a persistent problem?

Are they making a new model or have they totally gone bust?

Another thought - did you buy the thing on a credit card by any chance? I have read they sometimes offer protection.....

I was soooo suprised at the service from Boots - they were truly excellent

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 18:16:32

Thanks for the ideas.

Well the retailer has said he is going to gently try and elicit a replacement frame - I've agreed to keep my original fabrics and wheels, as obv have had some use out of them - I just want a working frame with brake.
I think they have been taken over. I got it a bit wrong - they're discontinuing the terrain version (non swivel wheel) and are stopping selling my version (urban elite) in the UK.
So looks like head office might still be available to contact.

I have a feeling they will just say 'deal with your retailer madam' though.

PDR Mon 26-Oct-09 18:20:02

You might be pleasantly surprised - worth a try I say!

Is the distributor small/independant?

I know when I bought the new buggy from a local store and told them what happened at boots they were v shocked and said it's only the big retailers who can do that as they buy so many units they just have a quota for so many returns.

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 18:23:42

No, retailer is largest in the UK I think for these off road type buggies...very well known. The distributor is also very large.

The retailer did say he thought they would be great about it, but that was before the argument over whether it is duff or not, before they had a look at it etc. I think they are trying to fob me off, they only recently took over distribution of this brand, the old ones shut down this year, so they haven't actually got any experience of the brand.

Typical! Thanks for your help. I will give it a try when push comes to shove.

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 18:24:43

but he is independent I think

thus not as big PR wise as Boots eg.
So maybe it's that.

Frrrightattendant Mon 26-Oct-09 20:14:02

Well, retailer has suggested we get their local trading standards to inspect it. I've said I would rather be present to demonstrate the problem, especially if the engineers at the distributor have missed it so far hmm

I am anxious to understand why they actioned a repair on an item that was not malfunctioning, instead of saying 'well there is nothing wrong with this, we aren't going to touch it, it is working fine'.

Bizarre.

PDR Tue 27-Oct-09 16:50:11

I would have thought trading standards would be on your side... make sure you point out that the problem is intermittant (sp?)

Frrrightattendant Thu 29-Oct-09 14:21:17

Thanks...I have, but they are sticking to their 'it isn't broken' line.

I feel awful now. About a hundred emailes etween me and the shop thrashing it out, he seems to be saying that he believes the company and it is my own fault for having weak feet.

I am fed up with it.
It's going back to distributors tomorrow for 're-inspection' and if it doesn't seem to be broken (which it most definitely is) they will then allow trading standards to inspect it.

Consumer Direct don't seem to think Trading Standards would touch it. Trading Standards thought I wanted to lodge a complaint and were pissed off when I said I just wanted to know what happens next.

I've tried to speak to the manager of Customer Service at the diestributors myself, but he is 'in a meeting' and is going to ring me back...apparently...hmm

Feel really miserable. I even spoke to a guy selling the same model on ebay (quite rare over here) and he said they sometimes have to get down and operate the brake by hand. It isn't just mine, but mine is worse than theirs obviously...have also emailed MB in New Zealand to explain situation and ask for help.

To think I wrote such a gleaming review of it on here last year. I'm really angry

Flightattendant Tue 03-Nov-09 18:53:11

...following that, the distributor has now agreed to replace the frame!

They still say they don't think there's anything wrong with the old one, but I think they are fed up with my long winded emails and just want me to go away.

I can't blame them smile. But I am hugely relieved as I have been really worried about it.

All credit to them, they promised I'd have a working frame and followed through on that.

Thanks for the support.

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