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The Restorer

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Anyone ever gone down the route of returning goods under the sale of goods act or getting a refund for an item through a credit card?

The reason i ask is as follows:

Bought a woodworking combination machine from a company at Woodmex last year (major company with an excellent reputation, heavily advertising in the woodworking press!), it arrived at the end of December after i'd been told by the sales rep that it would arrive two weeks prior to that and had sold my old kit through E-bay!.
The companies engineers have been out three times in the first couple of months to correct faults (was getting a lot of like scoop/scuff/divet marks when thicknessing) this turned out to be partly set up, partly extraction hood, partly normal on their machines (and their more expensive ranges).
They also replaced a cracked planer knife holder replaced the extraction hood with a modified one, this also fixed an extra large gap in the kickback fingers which allowed them to twist and jam. They've also replaced the main planer / saw fence four times as i kept receiving fences that were bowed in their width. (still have got).
I still don't have what i'd call an acceptable planer fence as the face of the current one is also bowed.
Now, the bow on the fence, according to their specs is supposed to be max. 0.2mm over 150mm of height. Some of the fences i've had have been nearer to 0.5mm. This wouldn't be too bad, except the bow is always in the centre of the fence (due to the shape of the fence, it's fixings and the extrusion process). This means if you are making say a frame and panel door, you set the fence square to plane timber 25mm x 50mm the go to plane something a little wider at say 100mm x 10mm you have to re-set the fence or you won't get a 90 degree result.

This has now been going on over six months and there are no signs of it being resolved. The company are bad at coming back to me and have to keep consulting the parent company in another country. I work for a living as a restorer and maker of fine furniture and bought this machine based on the manufacturers reputation for accuracy.

Am i just being too fussy? I can't make furniture with square 90 degree edges without resorting to hand planing to finish or multiple fence settings.

What would you do? what can i do?
The item was paid for wholly by credit card, hence the title.

Any advice much appreciated, sorry to go on a bit (this is the abridged version!!)
 

wizer

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have you tried asking them for a refund?
 

The Restorer

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The last conversation i had with the UK manager discussed the sale of goods act as a threat. He said it's within tolerance! i explained there is no mention of tolerances within their literature or video and the sales man didn't mention it.
I e-mailed them (6/7/05) with a copy of the main points of our conversation and stated i expected a reply by later that week or early this week. As yet no contact.
I'm not sure of my rights as it's been so long, but they've been given plenty of opprotunity to fix it. I don't really know, other than going to a Solicitor (i don't need that expense) how to proceed.
The other thing is that as a package the machine is great and i don't know what i'd replace it with. I't now just the damn fence issue.
 

The Restorer

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The machine is a Hammer (part of the Felder group) hence why i expected top quality.
What are peoples views on the accuracy concerned? From what i know of the sale of goods act would a person "reasonably" acept this?
 

Adam

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I believe a machine also has to be "fit for purpose". Regardless of spec, if you explained your requirement initially, if they made a contract with you, then they are required to supplied items that are fit for purpose.

Adam
 

mudman

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You can definitely get the credit card company to take up the cudgel for you. They might not be very happy about it but they are obliged to under some finance act or other.
Guy I was working with had a major problem with his Subaru car that would have cost him thousands. But because he had paid on the credit card he was able to argue that it was an inherent manufacturing fault and that the credit card company had to chase up for the money. Got a very large cheque through the post one morning.

First though, I'd be trying to send the machine back for a full refund. Under the Sale of Goods Act, the consumer doesn't have to prove that the defects were present at time of manufacture. I think that you also have the right to say enough is enough, take it back. Do a Google under "Sale of Goods Act" there are a load of sites that will explain your rights.
 

RogerS

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I would write to the MD and detail exactly the problems you have had, their attempted resolution etc. It clearly is 'not fit for purpose' or of 'merchantable quality' IMHO.

Say that you are giving them x days to resolve the issue to your satisfaction or give you a complete refund or replacement machine.

Then you can take them to the small claims court which is a very straightforward process.

The only downside that I can see, with my limited experience of consumer law, is that you have let them go on for far too long ...to get a replacement. If my memoery is correct you could have asked for a new machine and not for them to repair it but because the issue has gone on for such a long time then I believe this may weaken your case for a replacement. But, I am no expert.

You might also like to consider joinig the online part of Which (costs £7.75 a month) (www.which.net) and they have orums where you can post your issue and you will get (a) recommendations as to action from their legal team and (b) recommendations from a whole lot of other folk..who usually talk a lot of commonsense :D

Best of luck

Roger
 

andrewm

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Just a thought though.

Does the Sale of Goods act only cover business to consumer transactions and not business to business transactions. I don't know but it is something that I have at the back of my mind.

Andrew
 

Freetochat

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I would speak with your credit card company. Although not for the same value, I did receive help from my card company who gave me the money back. If the credit company agrees with your claim, they will refund you and just take the money back from Felder under the merchant agreement.

I would also suggest that you have given them ample opportunity to correct the faults and they have failed to do so.
 

johnelliott

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Tricky one. Obviously the machine isn't what you want it to be, and you've made that clear to the suppliers. They would seem to have run out of options and are waiting for you to make the next move.
I think you should give them one more chance to rectify the remaining faults, and at that time mention to them that you will be reporting to the CC company that you have not received goods of a 'merchantable quality'.
The suppliers should know that the CC company's most likely reaction will be to refund your card and inflict a 'chargeback' on the supplier, thus making it their problem.
At the heart of the issue is that goods purchased with a CC come under the consumer credit act, and the buyer enjoys considerable protection.

Another way forward might be to suggest to the suppliers that you employ a local engineering company to put the machine right, and that they pay for it. Stuff like this is often good technique because it may simply not have occured to them that such options exist. The fact that they keep changing the fence instead of having one surface ground (or whatever) is evidence of this.

John
 

The Restorer

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Thank you all for your valuable replies.

I'm going to ring Felder again in the morning. Will report back.

What are your opinions on the accuracy of this fence?

I've had machines before, but they've always had accurate fences (even cheaper ones). I'd have thought that this was fundamental to a woodworking machine.
I've now looked in depth at the sale of goods act and my concern is that states that it has to be "fit for purpose to a reasonable person". I'm concerned that it will be said that i'm totally unreasonable, after all we're talking about wood. My answer to this (and pointed out top Felder) was that if i made you a table costing £4k and it had jointed boards for the top, each with a 0.2mm gap would you accept it?

I suppose i'm trying to counter arguments that Felder may raise.

Thanks again for your help

Steve.
 

Gill

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It might be worth having a chat with your local Citizen's Advice Bureau or Trading Standards Office about this.

Gill
 

johnelliott

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The Restorer":2mbcd679 said:
I suppose i'm trying to counter arguments that Felder may raise.
Felder's arguments are irrelevant. Once your CC co. charges them back the price of the machine then they will need to focus their minds on either putting it right or taking it away, either of those options are fine by you, I presume? Until the case gets to court (which it won't) then their arguments will be like various inconsequential things being blown around in a wind of inconsequentiality
John
 

The Restorer

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Sorry for the long delay, but i'm now updating the story/saga.

Further to my visit to Felder UK they have agreed a complete refund for my Hammer C3-31 and all it's associated extras. I've ordered a Felder CF7-31 and got it at a substantially discounted price. It's due for delivery to the UK some time soon and once it's arrived and i've had chance to use it i will write a review.
I feel that it's a shame that Felder took so long sorting this out, but it shows persitance gets there in the end!
Looking at the Felders in the showroom, they are miles ahead of the Hammers ( as you'd expect with the Felders at least twice the price!).
The new Hammer models appear to be in a different class to the originals and have got rid of the triangular fence replacing it with a set up more akin to the Felders (though not as good).

Thanks for the advice i've received relating to this. The answer to all of this is to pay for everything via credit card and to insist any faults are corrected within weeks, failing that refuse the item, in writing, to both the supplier and credit card company.
 

Woodythepecker

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Nice one mate i am really pleased for you. Its just a shame that a company who are seen as selling some of the best machines on the market took so long to do the right thing. To be perfectly honest if they had treated me the way they treated you, i would probably told them to stuff the Felder and took my business elsewhere where, to Knapp perhaps. But that may be seen as cutting my nose off to spite my face.

The point is you have be given a good discount, and as long as you are happy with your new toy that is all that matters.

Good luck with it.

Regards

Woody
 

beech1948

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Restorer,
Now thats a result. A discounted CF731. Must be rarer than hens teeth.

I have a Felder CF combo so a few things to watch out for.

First its worth getting their engineers to unpack, install and detail the set-up. That way they can prove to you that it was installed to spec and you can measure their adjustments as you go. Also its a great way to learn about adjusting your machine. Takes about a day to do all of this.

You also need to agree with them what you need to accomplish before they deliver. Usually this is location cleared and ready, power available right upto the machine and connected, machine unpacked possibly though this may have changed.

When mine was delivered I checked each fence and table component for flatness and squareness..just a long straight edge and a dial test guage. Its slow but sure.

As part assurance I can say that my combo has been in for 4 yrs, its adjustment is still as set on day one. Fences are square and within a few thous of tolerance...and its a gem, a feeling of wow..a quality machine my kids will be honoured to use in their workshops..I hope.

best regards

Alan
 

Mike-W

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Restorer.

Good to hear that you have finally sorted out your problem with Felder, -taken quite a time though!
Following your problems and a another thread elsewhere on this site about Felder’s poor backup I can tell you they have lost a probable sale as I have been looking for a quality planer thicknesser over the last six months and there was a time when the Hammer A3 was top of my list.
I have visited several suppliers in the South including the Felder showrooms in Milton Keynes. While it was obvious that Fielder had replaced the fence with a better design, the salesman did not convince me that this was a machine I should buy, he could not tell me when I might see a machine running, nor did he follow up with technical information. After giving careful thought to the lack of backup from Fielder and taking on board all I have seen with other machines I have recently taken delivery of a 12” KDR manufactured in the Chez republic and supplied by Southern Woodwork Machinery, yes I had a problem with this machine on delivery but to the credit of MD David Snape of Southern Woodwork - he drove up from Eastleigh to sort the problem out.
I do hope that the Fielder Group take stock from the poor service they initially provided you with. I think this also proves to highlight just how useful and influential this forum can be.

Mike
 

The Restorer

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Just to finalise this a bit and pass on a bit of info.

My machine was a Hammer C3-31 last seasons colour i.e. blue. It was new December last year.
Since then Hammer have updated their range - now burgundy and grey. They've changed the fence for the planer etc. to a flat design more like the Felders ( i checked one of these at the Milton Keynes HQ and it wasn't flat, though the rep said they've improved them again :roll: ).

Felder and Hammers don't compare, they are in different classes (that's why the Felders cost twice as much, they are twice the machine). The Felders are smoother (try the sliding carriage or any of the adjustments), better spec'd, better finished etc. etc.

It all comes down to accuracy, if you only want to rip lumps of wood to size you don't need the accuracy to cut drawer sides to perfect length repeatedly.

Having said that and one of the problems all along is that the Hammer represents good value for money (what else is there with all that cast iron and 4hp motors and a vast spec. upgrade sheet?). However, there does seem to be a bit of a quality consistency issue, but they say that thats now sorted.

Go to Milton Keynes and see the machine. Don't expect a demo though (Health and Safety :roll: ) and be prepared for the 3 month wait for the machine from time of order.

As far as magazine reviews go, lets just say the amount of people i've spoken to who had two or more of the old style fences prior to getting one close to acceptable.... and certain magazines get one with a perfect fence etc. :roll: :shock: of course they did.........

If you get problems with a supplier. Go to trading standards and take their advice. Don't give them the supplier too long to fix a fault, about a month is OK. Be firm, not rude and spell out the problem and what you want done about it.
 
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