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Camera lens broke whilst in 'care' of shop, but they blame customer.?

Friend recently got a camera lens from a shop I used to work at (UK). Within it's year warranty, the lens locked and stopped working. In early December she took the lens in for them to send it off to Sigma to get fixed. Now, working at this company in the past, I know how the systems are for returns. We used to have to fill out a form explaining what the problem is that needs fixing, and if there's any marks on it (that way, the customer can't say it's been broken in our care.) On her form, it didn't have anything about the condition it was in when it should have.

She called the shop after it had been with them for 2 weeks, they told her that they hadn't sent it off yet, as it's before Christmas and "it won't be looked at until after Christmas anyway." I told her that they should have sent it asap regardless if no-one will be in Japan's repair centre.

She called mid-Jan for an update, and they told her that they cannot fix the lens under warranty because there's a dent. She said there is no way that happened in her care and must have happened when they had it in those weeks before Christmas. They refuse to take responsibility and said she will have to pay for any repairs they do. 

And in the weeks it took to send the lens off, I truly believe it happened in their care. Is there a way she can complain to maybe Trading Standards to get the shop to pay for the repair as she can vouch 100% there was no dent when she handed it in, just the problem with the lens locking. 


5 Answers

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Friend recently got a camera lens from a shop I used to work at (UK). Within it's year warranty, the lens locked and stopped working. In early December she took ...

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If she bought it using a credit card and it wasn't fit for purpose, then she has a  chance of getting her money back from their scheme. But she will have to prove that it was faulty now that nearly a year has gone by.  See the info in the link about claims and warranties.  Could you let us know what brand of lens it was so that we don't make the same mistake of buying it?

  • Sumi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I don't know English law, so it's difficult for me to provide any meaningful answers.  I can so, however, that I ran into a similar problem here in the USA.  I had a video card fail.  I got an RMA and sent it into EVGA for warranty repair/replacement.  I eventually got an email from EVGA's service dept. stating that they would honor their warranty because one of the accessory plugs was bent.  They provided photos showing an ever so slight bent in the card.  I informed them that this port had never been used and, more importantly, the failure of the card had nothing to do with the condition of the connection in the first place.  I made the argument that denying the warranty for the bent connection would be like a car a dealer denying a warranty repair of an engine because of a cracked tail light.  The tech responded by still refusing to honor the warranty.

    I then went online to find out about the warranty laws in my country and my stated, too (Federal laws & State laws are often different here in the US).  I discovered my rights and then sent a more sternly-written letter advising that I have sought legal advice on this matter, which of course I did by doing my own research.  This got a more favorable response and in a few days I had my replacement card.  And no, I will never buy another video card from EVGA again.

    The business who has the lens cannot prove who damaged the lens.  You have the upper hand in this because no damage was written on the repair form.  In the US, this means that the customer has the upper hand and that the business must take responsibility.  You need to find out what your local laws say in these matters.  Be firm and don't back down.  Do all your correspondence in writing to have a paper trail and proof as to who said what to whom.  If you talk to them over the phone, immediately send an email memorializing the conversation where you basically state that this is what I said and this is what you said.  Their failure to respond means that they accept and agree with your summary within the email.  After you do your research and know the law is on your side (and believe me, they'll know it too) send them a calm letter advising them that you've sought legal advice (Which is not a lie. You never said you hired a lawyer).

    In the meantime, you might want to start posting things online which may help your cause.  Just whatever you do, always be truthful and accurate with what you post.

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  • 2 months ago

    It’s largely her word against theirs. 

    She could try a small claims court action if she could prove the cosmetic condition of the lens when she handed it it, but I doubt that she took photos of it at that stage. 

    If she could get the store’s own repair docket which shows that they failed to record the condition then the onus falls on the store to prove it was not damaged when received. The store is under a Duty of Care to their customers: so it is unreasonable if they cannot produce that docket to show that the “pre-existing” damage was already present. But if the store simply “corrected” the docket before producing it she would have no proof of that alteration.

    If she tries a small claims court action and loses then all she forfeits is the registration charge. 

    If the lens was expensive it’s probably still worth a try, but she should get legal advice first: most car insurance, building insurance, home contents insurance, breakdown recovery, and trade union memberships include some free legal advice.

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