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try here as well - what are my chances of returning a steam/vacuum bought last week?

7 replies

SheWhoShops · 05/04/2008 23:53

Also posted in the legal/money section but thought maybe some of the regs here might have similar experience and might be able to advise me.

I bought a Polti steam vacuum cleaner from an online retailer that I took possession of on Weds last week. I paid £419 for the top of the range model (AS720 lux). Tried it out yesterday and was very disappointed - it was very unwieldy and badly designed and took me more than twice as long to clean my sons highchair to a less satisfactory level than my old mid-range, non vacuum steamer. The vacuum part got in the way of the steam nozzle meaning that I could not use the "nitty gritty" tool, because the vacuum nozzle attached to it sticks out by about 5 inches. Additionally one of the extension sections would not "catch" when you screwed it on. When I tested the machine on the floor on all the various combination of steam and suction levels and I was just distinctly underwhelmed - felt like I had just wasted £419 and wanted my old one back, which was a shame as I had just sold it.

In many respects the new one is very swanky - materials and build quality etc but it just doesn't work very well. I would even want to keep it if it did not have this ridiculous design where you are constantly kept 4-6 inches away from where you want be steaming and scrubbing. Effectively within 15 mins of getting it running I had the sinking feeling that I have saddled myself with an expensive white elephant.

It's only been tried out once, it is not dirty ( I cleaned out the tubes and everything as best I could see. Most of the labels are still on it, I still have the original box but not the plastic that the accessories were sealed in and not some of the packing cardboard inside the box itself.)

Can I return it to the company and ask them to exchange it for a model which does not have the stupid vacuum function (basically Polti haven't come up with a good workable design in my opinion). I am afraid they will say (as they said on their website) that they cannot accept returns once an item has been used. But does that apply if I only want to return it because it is crap, and swap it for something else that I can actually use?

It is less than 7 days that I have had it. I am even prepared to bargain with them to send me a cheaper model and keep the difference if they only just take this beast away from me, please!

Sorry for waffling - the other reason is that I already have a Dyson and a Vax, so the vacuum thing is overkill for me, but I was seduced by 1 extra bar of steam pressure

OP posts:
divedaisy · 06/04/2008 22:07

I would have thought if it is not fit for purpose then you have a right to request your money back. Tell them it's difficult to use. Also is 4-6 inches too close to be to steam!!?? faulty design!? Health and safety concern.

Contact the shop - do they have a phone number? Obviously you didnt get to try it out - they should have a policy of returning items if you're not happy with its performace. maybe someone with experience about legalities in retail will be able to help!

SpacePuppy · 06/04/2008 22:11

sounds like you were missed informed about the functions, contact them and ask. If you want to return it, state the difficulties you experience with using it. Is it possible you did not attach the items correctly? I think at £419 you can at least try to return it.

chocolatespiders · 06/04/2008 22:14

tell them how disapointed you were to recieve a model that had obviously been used

SheWhoShops · 07/04/2008 11:00

I have been doing a bit of research and found the following info in an Office of Fair Trading Leaflet as a guide for businesses:

Unlike when buying from a shop, the first time that a
consumer will typically have an opportunity to examine goods
purchased by distance means is when they receive them. The DSRs
give consumers who buy by distance means more rights than
consumers who shop in person. When a distance consumer cancels a
contract to which the cancellation provisions apply they are entitled to
a refund of any money they have paid in relation to the contract even
if the goods are not defective in any way.

and also:

We are conscious of concerns about reselling items which may raise
concerns about hygiene. However, the DSRs do not link cancellation
rights with a supplier?s ability to resell items as new.

In other words, according to the Distance Selling Regs, I have the right to cancel the contract within 7 days, to examine and test the goods at home, and if they can't resell it as new then it is not my problem they still have to accept it back.

I hope they go for it...rang them this morning first thing and they haven't got back to me.

OP posts:
SheWhoShops · 07/04/2008 14:12

They helpfully rang me back to tell me they had been in touch with Polti and did I know I could actually turn the vacuum function off?

No sh*t Sherlock.

I can tell by the way they all talk to me that they view me as an arsey customer...the manager is supposed to me ringing me back. I have to try to stand up for myself.

OP posts:
SheWhoShops · 08/04/2008 11:47

Just in case anyone finds themselves in a similar position - useful to know that they have offered me a full refund/exchange as under distance selling regs the customer has the right to cancel the contract within 7 days even if the item has been tried out The relevelant bit of leg. is in OFT Leaflet 698 (Guide to Distance Selling Rules for Businesses) available to view on the net.

OP posts:
Fizzylemonade · 08/04/2008 17:12

I bought a bissel carpet cleaner that was techinically second hand from the manufacturer.

It was half the price of the brand new one and had been returned by a customer, they serviced it all and it was only 2 months old as I had the original documentation. It is fab. So they must take stuff back.

Glad it worked out for you.

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