GHD hair straighteners *BOOM* (Long, sorry)

SWMBO bought daughter a pair of GHD hand held hair straighteners in August 2,002, from her freindly local hair stylists.
Just last week they went sparkle, sparkle, flash - poof *Bang*.
It seems the insulation on the mains cable had weakened (cracked open), at the point where the tapered strain relief grommet finishes, exposing live conductors. So I made a repair by removing the bad section, joining the severed ends by soldering and protecting the joint with heat shrink sleeving, and thence by self amalgamating tape, and finally by a big diameter heatshrink overall.
I was happy just to do a repair 'till my daughter said that several of her friends had the same experience and on checking I found heard that GHD had had a *bad batch* of hair straighteners. See Watchdog page :
http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/reports/report_20030930.shtml
Unfortunately on calling the freephone number I was told that the only "bad batch" they were prepared to acknowledge was in September 2,002. and since mine was bought in August this did not apply. They asked for the batch number from off the appliance but no such number existed. I was a bit miffed because despite being both unreliable and dangerous the straighteners cost an unbelievable (considering the quality) 95 quid!
I noticed that the mains lead did not comply with the standard European colour code since the cores were black and white, therefore presumably US standard although the mains plug was wired with the white to the live (fused) pin unlike the normal US convention (Plain white neutrals). Also the unit does not appear to be CE marked. I believe an item like this should have a technical construction file or somesuch which shows how compliance with European safety standards has been achieved. Can I insist on seeing this?
Just in case I have to get heavy over this, am I also correct in thinking that it is against the law to sell an electrical appliance with an incorrectly colour coded mains lead as is the absence of the CE mark, and does the panel agree that the alleged response of "Trading Standards" mentioned on the BBC website, to a fault which results in exposed live conductors at the end of the mains lead close to where it is held in the hand is rather inadequate?
DG
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derek wrote:

snip
Doesn't the fact that you have attempted/effected a repair damage your case somewhat? The other issues notwithstanding of course.
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Yep, but only in as far as we don't have the faulty bit of wire any more so it would be difficult to establish/prove. So I'm hoping the CE marking and cable colour issues are serious enough legal points to get them to take note. Where I work we take compliances like that very seriously but we don't deal with retail customers.
DG
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wrote:

Everyone who ever buys a pair ends up buying another after they have "blown".
My sisters were the same. Thing with most of them is they buy them through the back door ie. from friends of friends due to them being ridiculously expensive retail. So if x knows y who works at a salon and can get them half price etc.
They were on Watchdog but guess they are still getting away with selling a substandard designed product for an over the top price because of the reputation they have for being good at what they do...
Mark S.
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