Dishwasher dead after 18 months - claim under Sale of Goods act?

Our Baumatic dishwasher has died very thoroughly (a hole in the sump has allowed water to get onto the motor) and repair will cost close to the cost of a new machine. It's about 18 months old and thus out of guarantee.
I think a dishwasher should 'reasonably' be expected to last a lot longer than this without a major failure of this sort. So, do you think I have much chance of getting anywhere with a claim against the retailer using the Sale of Goods Act (or whatever it's called now)?
FWIW I'm not overly impressed with the Baumatic, the specification is good for the price but in use it hasn't been particularly good:-
The manual is crap (not terribly important but it doesn't give one a warm feeling). The cutlery tray handle has never stayed properly attached to the cutlery tray (trivial but annoying). The door has dropped significantly from horizontal with use so the bottom basket doesn't roll out smoothly. The filter is very difficult to clean as it doesn't disassemble enough to allow one to get all the bits out easily.
It's washed the dishes quite well over its rather short life though.
Our previous dishwashers lasted for years, I don't think we mistreat them particularly.
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On 23 Oct 2003 11:22:08 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

You certainly should pursue a claim, particularly if there is reasonable evidence that the hole could not have been the result of poor installation or abuse. The whatever-it-is-act (EU reg I think) certainly pushes the boundaries out beyond the usual 12 months as far as design and manufacturing defects are concerned. Let us know how you get on.
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John
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You only got a 12 months guarantee ? Bull !!! Every appliance, especially in that price range, comes with a compulsory warranty of a lot than that now'a'days. Take it back and get a new one.
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IANAL. From what I can tell, you'd have every chance of success in the small claims track of the county court.
However, you are required to mitigate your losses. This means you can't just buy a new one and send the bill. You should give them a chance to sort it out first. Assuming this is unsatisfactory, then get at least two quotes to fix it. If a new one is cheaper or similar in price, it would be reasonable to purchase one.
You can submit court proceedings like this online. Go to www.courtservice.gov.uk and click on Money Claim Online. Do not submit proceedings until you have asked for satisfaction in a written letter first and been refused. They won't be impressed if they think you haven't been reasonable.
Christian.
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see what they will do for me.
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On 23 Oct 2003 15:15:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Chris,
Do bear in mind that warranties and their arrangements are a convenience for the distribution chain. The retailer does not really want to have to deal with warranty issues other than perhaps to act as a return and swap point to the manufacturer, if that. Therefore manufacturers often arrange the warranty such that they handle problems during the warranty period. Generally they are better equipped to do so and this practice makes the product more attractive to the retailer because of there being less hassle for him. Remember that the manufacturers are competing for retailer attention as much as that of the end user.
These practices lead retailers, especially at store level, to go with the notion that the manufacturer's warranty is the be-all and end-all of the arrangements for product problems with the customer, so after the year is up will often assume that this implies that the customer's redress is with the manufacturer. Of course the warranty is written as being in addition to the customer's statutory rights, but most staff at retailers don't know what that means and assume that they and the manufacturer are offering something better than the law.
Like all of these things there is a reasonableness factor and you need to compare with the market. If the dishwasher had cost 200 and was falling apart after five years, I am not sure that it would be necessarily reasonable to say that this was other than fair wear and tear on something at this low price point. However, if it was 500 and 18 months, which is probably closer to your scenario then I would think not and I would certainly act on it.
Remember, though, that the manufacturer may or may not choose or have the mechanisms in place to help you directly, so there is no point in spending too much energy on it. Ultimately, if you want to issue a complaint through the courts, it will be against the retailer and not the manufacturer, so by being helpful youmight actually confuse things.
I would be inclined to contact the manager of the retailer and explain what has happened, and asking him what he proposes to do to resolve the issue. If he tries a 12 month warranty fob-off, simply explain that you are aware of the consumer legislation and will be prepared to take the matter to court. I would then write to him and his area manager giving them a period to respond or that you will immediately take legal action. Send by special delivery and keep the receipt.
I have found that this almost always works and a satisfactory outcome ensues - depending on circumstances as much as 4 years after purchase. You can issue proceedings up to 6 years from purchase, but this does not guarantee a result in your favour.
On one occasion I did institute proceedings and that was enough to prompt the retailer to settle the issue, pay costs and compensation.
The important thing is to be polite but firm and to have a realistic objective.
.andy
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awaiting their response at the moment. Since we've not been 100% happy with the Baumatic anyway (niggling design faults) I'd be quite happy (and have told the retailer) with a credit towards buying a replacement.

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Have you tried getting back to the retailer yet, or are you just assuming that he'll kick up? I would think a reputable retailer would want to look after you.
Rob Graham
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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

result - Baumatic replaced the dead dishwasher free of charge with a later/better model! :-) It's now installed and performing well.
The Electric Shop from whom we bought the dishwasher were good too, I think it was to a significant extent down to them that Baumatic decided to replace the dishwasher.
So good marks to both Electric Shop and Baumatic. We will wait to see if the new dishwasher lasts well, they seem to have sorted out some of the minor niggles we had with the old one and the new one also seems a lot quieter. (Old one was a BDW8, the new one is a BDW10)
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Guarantees or warranties When buying goods and services, we are all used to being told that what we've bought is covered by a 'guarantee' or 'warranty'. But what does this mean, and what benefit can we expect to receive if we have to make a claim for faulty goods or shoddy workmanship?
What is a Guarantee? A guarantee is most often issued by the manufacturer of goods such as electrical equipment, or by a company that has provided a service, such as replacement windows. It is normally provided free of charge at the time you buy the goods or services. A guarantee is considered in law to be an agreement to provide some benefit for a set period of time in the event of the goods or services being defective. Usually, the guarantee undertakes to carry out free repairs for problems that can be attributed to manufacturing defects. Manufacturers are not legally obliged to provide you with a guarantee, but if they do, it must be in plain English and clearly explain how to make a claim.
What is a Warranty? A warranty provides the same sort of cover that a guarantee does, but often you have to pay extra for it - for example, many electrical stores offer a warranty for cover against the cost of repairs and replacement parts for up to five years after purchase. Effectively, these sorts of warranties are insurance policies, issued by and underwritten by insurance companies. Just to confuse matters, these can sometimes be known as 'extended guarantees' or 'extended warranties'!
What legal protection do I get with Warranties and Guarantees? As both are contracts, warranties and guarantees give you the right to make a legal claim against the person issuing them (guarantees are contracts because the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 say that they are). This means that if the manufacturer refuses to honour the warranty or guarantee, you can take them to court to force them to meet their promises. For example, if the company that issued the warranty will not carry out a repair within a reasonable time when the guarantee says it will, you could sue for the cost of employing someone else to put the problem right.
However, it is important to remember that both warranties and guarantees are in addition to your statutory rights under either the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) or the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (as amended). If you have problems with goods or services, it is best to go back to the company from which you bought them, as the law considers them to be responsible for any problems under their contract with you. See our leaflets 'Buying Goods' and 'Buying Services' if you want more information on your rights under contract law.

Here is an example case simalar to yours:- Q. I bought a fridge/freezer about 18 months ago, and the freezer section has completely failed. I went back to the shop, but they refused to do anything as it was outside the original 12 month guarantee. What are my rights? A. Firstly, when you buy goods from a shop, you enter into a contract under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended). This holds the shop liable for up to SIX years after purchase (Limitation Act 1980), providing that you can show that the problem is down to an unreasonable fault and not normal wear and tear. Secondly, remember that the guarantee is in addition to these statutory legal rights. Don't be taken in by the shop's argument here - they are using the issue of the guarantee as a red herring to try to avoid their legal obligations toward you.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) says that goods should be: of a Satisfactory Quality, i.e. of a standard that a reasonable person would consider to be satisfactory - generally free from fault or defect, as well as being fit for their usual purpose, of a reasonable appearance and finish, safe and durable; fit for the purpose - As well as being fit for the purpose for which they are generally sold, goods should also be fit for any specific or particular purpose made known at the time of the agreement; as described - Goods should correspond with any description applied to them. This could be verbally, words or pictures on a sign, packaging or an advert. This dishwasher does not seem to be of a satisfactory quality, as bits fell off (the cutlery tray handle, and the door has dropped
The filter needs to be cleaned properly, so you may have claim it is not fit for the purpose here
In my opinion, I would think you have a very good case against the place you bought this item,
If the trader spouts out "It isn't our fault the goods are defective - go back to the manufacturer."
This is not true - you bought the goods from the trader, not the manufacturer, and the trader is liable for any breaches of contract (unless he was acting as the manufacturer's agent).
There is a lot of information on www.tradingstandards.gov.uk (where I got most of the above!)
Give your local trading standards office a call, they will be more than happy to tell you your rights ...that is what they are there for after all!
You can get the telephone number from http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk and entering your post code
Another useful thing.. If you have paid for the goods by credit card (not debit or charge card), and the value is 100 or more, the credit card company has obligations to you, too. These rights are given to you under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, under a principle known as 'Equal Liability'. This means that the credit card company and the supplier have the same obligations and responsibilities to you for the goods being satisfactory. You can complain to both the supplier and the credit card company.
Sparks...
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I have found that in a dispute with a retailer, the card company will usually roll over faster than the retailer. Whether they just pay up and charge the amount back to the retailer, I have no idea. So if the retailer doesn't play ball straight away, I just take it up with the card company.
Recently I had a monitor (purchased from a high street retailer) die after 18 months. The high street retailer would not even talk to me about it, as it was more than 28 days from the date of purchase. They insisted that I speak to their head office, who needless to say, just kept repeating that it was out of warranty. I wrote to the card company, with the words and phrases mentioned further up this thread, and a few weeks later, a credit on my account for the original cost of the monitor.
PM
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wrote:

I haven't seen earlier parts of this thread, but if a dishwasher has failed after 18 months you would have a very good 'fit for purpose' claim under the Sale of Goods Act - or whatever it's current version is called.
A court would view that such a major appliance would have a life expectancy of, perhaps, five years or more. If it has failed after 18 months and has not been either abused or used for something for which it was not intended - say a domestic dishwasher being used in a small hotel - then a court would certainly find in your favour.
Remember, your claim is against the retailer, NOT the manufacturer, although the retailer may try to bring the manufacturer into the frame to try to defer their losses and/or to spread the muck off their name.
Go and talk to the Citizen's Advice Bureau - a Solicitor's Letter generated by them or at their instigation will probably work wonders.
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Woody

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