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Consumer - Tina Tackles!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

All year we've been getting so many emails, calls, facebook messages and texts with questions for Tina about all things consumer. Until now Tina has answered them to the best of her ability and allowed the viewer to try to remedy their issue with Tina's advice.

Now we are taking it a step further. Every Tuesday Tina will be taking on one viewer's consumer query. The viewer's will be chosen on the basis that they have tried everything except the small claims court and still haven't received a satisfactory conclusion to their consumer dilemma.

Tina will step in on behalf of the viewer and make contact with the company/business to try to resolve the dispute.


Tina Leonard, our consumer expert

The Problem

Hi Tina,

My name is Amanda Cox and I am a bill paying O2 customer for some years now, I am looking for some advice. I got a new mobile phone through O2's outlet store in the Pavilians shopping center Swords in December 2008. During 2009 the new hand set failed a number of times. It went in for repair 3 times through the outlet store and I am now experiencing the same problem. The O2 outlet store are now saying they have done as much as they can and I should contact O2 customer service. Since then I have contacted O2 customer service and they advise me to contact the outlet store. I have made a number of personnel visits to the O2 outlet store, phone calls and sent emails to O2 customer service and I am getting the run around, what should I do next?

Amanda Cox

Tina's Consumer Advice

Given the hand set failed soon after purchase it is reasonable to assume there was a fault with the phone. Amanda was entitled to a repair but this has now been carried out three times and the phone is still broken. Assuming this is faulty, Amanda is now entitled a replacement handset or a refund.

Statement from O2

"In the case where a handset is faulty, O2's policy is to send it for repair (unless the fault is reported within 30 days of purchase in which case the device is exchanged for a new one). In the case of the customer in question, the handset, which was initially purchased in 2008, was reported as faulty by the customer and sent for repair on 3 separate occasions in 2009. On the third occasion, O2 exchanged the faulty device for a new handset. Since then the customer has recently reported a problem with the new handset. O2 has offered to have the new device reviewed to determine the exact nature of the problem and to have it repaired. O2 sincerely apologises if it has not dealt with the customer's current complaint to her satisfaction. O2 prides itself on its excellent levels of customer care and service."

The reason we do this item is to help out viewers who have done everything in there power to resolve a consumer dispute but they don't get anywhere. Tina intervenes and tries to solve one or two consumer disputes on behalf of the viewer by contacting the companies and stating the viewer's rights.

The main aim though is that viewers watching can take the advice on board themselves and take the power back by succeeding in winning their dispute.

We have had a number of viewers contacting the show to tell us their success stories and here is another one.
Martina emailed the show

The Problem

I received some vouchers for a kids clothes shop in January and the shop has recently announced that it was closing so I went in to spend the vouchers before the shop closed. I went in to the shop and picked out some items of clothing for my son that came to the value of €22. The staff member told me that because they are closing that they can not accept the full amount in vouchers that you can only use the vouchers towards half the value of the total sale. So I could only spend €11 worth of the vouchers and would have to pay cash for the rest. I am just wondering about this??

Tina's advice
That is crazy!!! It's a tricky one though as there is no law to say how vouchers can and cannot be used. It is the terms and conditions attached to the use of the voucher, as set down by the shop, that dictates how they can be used.

However, I think this is very unfair and could constitute an "unfair term". Further Martina I presume was not told of this policy at the time of purchasing the vouchers. So I would advise Martina to make her complaint to the NCA for them to investigate. If the shop has already closed there is little that can be done now, however.