I have beaten Amazon and I am so proud of myself!
Two days ago my mp3 player decided to randomly switch itself off and remain off. Each time I went to switch it on, the screen stayed blank and the back heated up. This said very bad things to me and guttingly, when I checked the warranty it had expired two weeks ago. Sods Law!
After asking around a few friends as to what the problem might be, getting in touch with Creative Zen's customer services (crap. They seemed to think my problem was having trouble loading music on to it even though I explained the problem in three different emails in a step-by-step way that a six year old could have understood) and tracking down a techy friend of mine the general consensus was that my poor mp3 player was buggered. It's only just over a year old and shouldn't have given up the ghost so easily for the brand it is and the £80 it cost me to buy.
I was pretty peeved and had almost resigned myself to having to listen in excrutiating detail exactly what Chantelle and Wayne had got up to last Friday and being exposed to a wide range of sweary words that just aren't needed when my lovely techy friend informed me of this piece of legislation - 1999/44/EC.
After reading it thoroughly and properly, I prepared myself for battle with Amazon and this is how the conversation went:
Amazon Customer Service: Good afternoon madam, how may I help you today?
GND: Just over a year ago I bought an mp3 player from you and it has recently died and I don't feel this is reasonable considering the age, brand and cost of the mp3 player and the normal use it has had.
A.C.S: I am sorry madam but in this instance we are unable to help as it is beyond our one year warranty.
GND: Yes I realise that but I have in front of me the legislation 1999/44/EC that states I am entitled under EU ruling to have any electrical goods I purchase to be covered for two years.
A.C.S: I'm sorry madam that is incorrect and we can't help you.
GND: I'm sorry, I'm not willing to accept that as a reasonable answer, I think you can help me. It says in this legislation that if the seller is in the EU and the electrical goods are new and used under normal usage that I am entitled to an exchange, refund or replacement.
A.C.S: Madam, I have already told you we can't help you.
GND: In that case, could I speak to your management please?
GND gets placed on hold
Amazon Management: Good afternoon madam, what appears to be the problem?
GND: Hi, I don't know if you're aware of my issue but I would like a refund, replacement or repair of my mp3 player.
A.M: Madam it is out of the one year warranty and we cannot help you.
GND: Yes, this is what I was told earlier. I don't consider that a reasonable response as this is a law. Are you telling me that as a multi-million pound organisation you are willing to break the law of the country you are selling in? In this case, the U.K?
A.M: No madam but that isn't the issue here.
GND: I am afraid to say it is. Amazon UK is a selling in the UK. The UK is part of the EU. I am a UK citizen so therefore I am protected under EU ruling and this particular legislation states that I am entitled to a refund, repair or replacement from yourselves.
A.M: The mp3 player bought is out of stock now so we cannot replace.
GND: I am aware of that and I am happy for a refund or replacement.
A.M: I am sorry we can't do that. Is there anything else I can help you with?
GND: Yes. I would like your full name, the department you work in and a reference number for this telephone call. I would also like the full name and the department that the lady I spoke to earlier works in. I would also like the full name and address of Amazon's Customer Complaints department and if you've got it, the contact number and address for Watchdog UK and Trading Standards.
A.M: Slight pause. Madam, in this instance and as a gesture of our goodwill to you we would be happy to arrange a refund and courier collection of your damaged mp3 player. Please hold the line while I arrange for an email to be sent out to you detailing this and so that I can confirm you have received it.
GND: Thank you very much, that is most helpful of you.
A.M: *sarcasm* Is there anything else I can help you with madam?
GND: Yes please. I'd still like your and your colleague's full name and department you both work in should any future problems arise regarding this.
A.M: *extremely sarcastic reply of names and departments and a 'goodbye madam and have a wonderful day'*.
I'm fairly certain by this point that her wish of a wonderful day for me would be to end up with a bucket of paint tipped over my head and for a plague of locusts to be cursed on me!
Another good thing? On Amazon's customer service help page on their website, they call you and due to the way my mobile phone tarriff works, thanks to them I have an additional 65 minutes of credit. That was the total length of the call but oh my, it was 65 minutes well spent!