I sold a Hornby Elite DCC control system a couple of weeks ago to a customer
who also purchased a couple of Digital sets which included Select
controllers and a whole host of other Hornby items.
The Elite was returned on Tuesday. Initially it worked to the customer's
total satisfaction, but after a short period it completely refused to
programme either loco or accessory decoders, although both of the Select
contollers which our customer also owns worked fine when wired into his
layout, confirming that the problem was with the Elite controller.
My first course of action when faced with this problem was to phone Hornby's
Help Line to ask them to supply an immediate replacement controller for this
customer (who had subsequently spent in excess of one thousand GB pounds
during the past month on Hornby products). After speaking to both me and my
customer, Help Line refused to supply a replacement controller without
having the original returned for investigation.
This of course puts us, the retailer, in a totally impossible situation.
The customer is of course (under the Sale of Goods Act) entitled to either
an immediate refund, or an immediate replacement (if he is willing to accept
one). He is not obliged to allow a faulty product to be sent away for
Firstly Hornby claimed they had no Elite controllers to allow them to
exchange this faulty item (they really mean they have none for sale) then
claimed they only had our word &/or that of our customer that there was a
problem with the customer's existing controller. When I politely, but
firmly pointed out the customer's rights under the Sale of Goods Act, I was
told by their Help Line staff member that he didn't like my attitude.
Anyway the end result of this story is that the Elite controller has been
returned to the manufacturer and we're still waiting a response. In the
meantime our customer, who was present throughout this mind-numbing exercise
with Hornby, is totally disenchanted with their attitude and went away with
a pile of Bachmann products and a new Lenz DCC system.
53A Models, Hull.
15 years ago