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Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16953

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
Directive 1999/44/EC
This is nothing whatsoever to do with Defenders, but given that amongst Def2 members and contributors we have a vast range of experience I thought I would ask for advice.

About 18 months ago I bought a new, rather specialist (ruggedised and with thermal imaging) and fairly expensive smartphone from a UK on-line retailer. It is, I think, a small retailer, but the only supplier in the UK of that particular range of phones. The supplier has no affiliation with the manufacturer. The phone came with a 1-year manufacturer's warranty.

After approx 18 months of use the phone died completely whilst on charge overnight. It is no longer possible to power the phone on, nor to access the phone remotely, nor to power it externally. It has many characteristics on Monty Python's Norwegian Blue parrot. This I found disappointing.

I contacted the retailer who replied promptly and with some sympathy and said (1) you need to take it up with the manufacturer (who remember has no UK presence), (2) as the supplier we cannot help, (3) we have always found the supplier useless and unhelpful (wish they'd told me this before I bought the phone!) and (4) your best bet is to take it to a high-street repairer. This I found even more disappointing.

I then contacted the manufacturer (I think USA-based although the phone is made in the far east) who after some "to-ing and fro-ing" said that they were "not allowed" to help me since I hadn't bought the phone directly from them. This I found extremely disappointing.

A colleague at work then put me on to Directive 1999/44/EC which put a legal requirement on suppliers of consumer equipment within the EC to proved a 2-year warranty to the extent that they had to repair or replace any consumer equipment which failed within two years. This directive was passed into UK law when we were in the EU, and has been retained so is still UK law. I didn't know about this beforehand and suspect that most people, including the supplier of my phone, don't know about it either.

Naturally I emailed the supplier suggesting that he familiarise himself with this directive and then contact me to discuss how he is going to fulfil his legal obligation regarding my phone, and - perhaps unsurprisingly - I not only heard nothing from him but have also found that he has become very hard to contact!

So my question is this: has anyone here had any experience in getting a supplier to repair or replace faulty good by virtue of this or any other directive, and does anyone have any useful advice how I can go about it? I would prefer not to have to engage legal professionals since I imagine it would not be cost effective, but I am still keen to do something.

Any suggestions would be welcome, and remember if you are in a similar predicament you might want to have a read of https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN...31999L0044
Post #1034821 15th May 2024 11:24am
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Member Since: 24 Nov 2022
Location: Paris
Posts: 811

France 2002 Defender 110 Td5 DCPU Chawton White
Don't want to be a party popper but warranties are either there, easy and effective, or they are not there and hard to obtain, if ever.

You tried several avenues and found a dead end at each. If I was you I would cut my losses (expensive phone still provided enjoyment for 18months) and move on. Life's too short.

To give you an example, I bought a Google Pixel 6 Pro phone in the middle east. But they don't sell Google Pixel phones there, so bought one on Amazon which came from the USA. All worked fine. Moved to France using the phone till one day the screen went all funny on me. No drop, just broken.

Contacted Google online expecting very little or at least a discussion about the phone origin, but no they sent me a prepaid whipping box with a french service center address. Sent it in and received it back a week later fixed (new screen). No cost at all, no queries, just log a claim. Not often you see this, but looks like a good reason to buy a Google phone.
Post #1034826 15th May 2024 12:17pm
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Member Since: 03 Nov 2009
Location: South West England
Posts: 16953

United Kingdom 2007 Defender 110 Puma 2.4 DCPU Stornoway Grey
Indeed, I am largely resolved to be disappointed by this (and have already replaced the phone with something from a much more "mainstream" manufacturer together with a standalone thermal imaging camera) but as a matter of principle I feel that if the law says I have a two year repair or replace warranty from the retailer then I should at the very least nag the retailer for a while. He shouldn't just be allowed to get away with ignoring the law, even if, as I suspect, he didn't know about it beforehand.

It has made be realise though that Landrover is not the only firm whose interest in the customer ends at the moment the sale is concluded! Laughing

I would be interested to know if any one else here has managed to achieve any kind of result by means of EC Directive 1999/44.
Post #1034837 15th May 2024 3:19pm
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Member Since: 24 Jul 2016
Location: York
Posts: 997

United Kingdom 2015 Defender 110 Puma 2.2 XS CSW Orkney Grey
It was my understanding that the 2 years isn't a fixed term. It's more along the lines of how long a reasonable person would expect that item to last. Hence, the rule of thumb being 2 years.

The retailer isn't responsible for the whole 2 years. I'm not sure it's there problem for much more than 6 months or so.
It all falls to the manufacturer which is where you've hit a block.

Not sure what to suggest other than to buy a new phone.
Post #1034842 15th May 2024 4:15pm
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Member Since: 24 Dec 2019
Location: Lija
Posts: 3227

Malta 2012 Defender 90 Puma 2.2 CSW Santorini Black
No consumer affair authority to provide service? 1988 90 Hard Top, 19J Diesel Turbo, Shire Blue - Restoration ongoing
2012 90 CSW, 2.2TDCI, Santorini Black
Post #1034849 15th May 2024 5:02pm
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Member Since: 28 May 2022
Location: Aisne
Posts: 47

France 2012 Defender 90 Puma 2.2 SW Indus Silver
Take them to the small claims court for your money back plus interest (if applicable). A cost effective way of reaching a settlement and perhaps once you advise them of your intentions they may concede.

https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money 2012 90SW - 2.2TDCI
Post #1034851 15th May 2024 5:38pm
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Member Since: 12 Aug 2022
Location: Norfolk
Posts: 139

United Kingdom 1985 Defender 110 200 Tdi SW Auto Baltic Blue
Try the Citizen's Advice, they have lots of standard letters written by Solicitors.

Send them one of those, they are very official and say all the right things to get a response.

I don't like how manufacturers build in a limited life on products, this is what this law was brought in to tackle. under the same law an amendment was added that they have to provide spares so that stuff can be fixed and not scrapped.

Keep fighting.
Post #1034898 16th May 2024 10:00am
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