I’ve been running with dual 24“ monitors for many years, but decided recently that a single 27” might be more useful to me. So I ordered the monitor you see on my left (Acer, B276HL) from Auspcmarket.com.au.
They delivered it a day late and, as a result, I didn’t get it home until about 5 days later. Having excitedly unpacked it, I then discovered this:
At first, I thought it was a chunk of glue sticking on the screen. But a moment of trying to scratch if off having proved fruitless, I took a close look. It then appeared to be more of an indent you’d cause by hitting the screen with a hammer: all the pixels under the ‘dent’ worked, but displayed the wrong sort of colour.
Anyway: no worries. I was very disappointed, and it quite spoiled my evening. But I’ve been doing business with AusPCMarkets since 2007 or thereabouts, at a rate of about $1500 a year. My UPS, 4TB NAS hard disks, a couple of PCs and God-knows what else have all come from them. They’re a bit pricier than other suppliers, but delivery in the central business district is free and their quality is good. So: make a note on their website that I want to return the monitor and get a replacement and all will be well, right?
Well, no, as it turns out. First email reply: “First step is to contact Acer on 1300 723 926 to obtain an Acer NCC reference number.”
Actually, that’s in breach of New South Wales consumer law, which clearly states that “The retailer cannot refuse to help you by sending you to the manufacturer or importer”. (See here for details!)
So I pointed that minor detail out to them and explained that my relationship was between me and AusPC, not with Acer. Would AusPC please authorise a return? And they indeed did so and sent me a returns form to fill in. Problem solved!
Except the next day, I got an email saying, “The Acer people are asking for the following information so that they can organise Pick-up. (1). SNID number located on the unit. (2). Full contact name, phone number and pickup address of where the unit is located for Acer to pickup.”
So I again replied, “I don’t deal with Acer. And I will not return my monitor to Acer. Please reply acknowledging the same”.
And their reply, in full, was: “Thanks for your quick reply.”
I kind of knew we were on a downward spiral at this point, but persisted with “And your quick reply hasn’t acknowledged what I asked you to. Are you going to accept that the monitor will be returned to you or not? Can I please have a yes/no answer?”.
To which they replied, “Awaiting your call for AusPC Pick-up.”.
So that seemed to be a ‘yes’ and AusPC was now undertaking to do the pickup. Things were back on track, and the monitor was indeed picked up that afternoon. Excellent.
Until I emailed this morning an innocent question, “Did it arrive with you OK?”. And they replied, “the AusPC Driver picked up the monitor. The monitor is currently with the supplier.” Again with the supplier nonsense! I asked when I’d be getting my replacement part, and their reply was “Your monitor will have to be inspected and approved for replacement by a qualified Technician from Acer. Once a manufacturing fault has been substantiated and physical damage ruled out – AusPC will promptly despatch a new replacement.”
Or, to put it in plain English, ‘Although we were the suppliers of defective goods to you, we are waiting to see what the manufacturer says before we offer you a replacement’. Which is not what New South Wales consumer law says they are allowed to do.
At this point, I informed them I wanted to cancel the sale all together and wanted a refund. They said, “only when the Acer technicians agree it’s a manufacturing issue” (illegal). And I replied that, given I was without a monitor, I was within my rights to just ring the credit card company and have the entire transaction disputed, resulting in a near-instantaneous refund to me. Their reply came about 3 minutes later: “The Supplier has just informed me that Acer has approved the Return to be processed”.
So, I get my refund, and the transaction is as if it had never been. And I get to spend my $360 somewhere else. No harm done, right?
Wrong. AusPCMarket are, in my view, in flagrant breach of NSW consumer law. They’re even in breach of the terms posted on their own website which talks eloquently about “For parts tested to have manufacturing defects a short period after their invoice date (DOA), we will replace them from our stock where possible” and “Customers must arrange to return the goods to us”. No hint at all there that “customers will be asked to arrange to return the goods to whoever we think they should be returned to” or “For parts tested BY THE MANUFACTURER to have defects…”.
When preparing my inevitable complaint to the NSW Fair Trading officers, I happened to notice that not once, in an exchange of over 12 emails, did they mention ‘sorry’ or ‘apology’ or ‘shame about the inconvenience’. Never mind their flagrant breach of NSW consumer law: these people are shysters of the first order.
Remember people: if Bloggs and Co sell you faulty products, no matter how innocently, then your course of complaint and restitution lies with Bloggs and Co, not with whomever Bloggs and Co do business. This is true in NSW and England (Sale of Goods Act), at least.
And if it’s not true in your particular jurisdiction, then all I can say is: make sure you don’t try doing business with AusPCMarket. Responsibility-dodging bastards that they are.