Eqpt deliberately damaged by repair shop - what offence?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by 4(T), Oct 21, 2008.

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  1. Background preamble to the main question:

    Vacuum cleaner started playing up - intermittent stopping of motor over several months, followed by final death. Since this is a cleaner with a motorised head, and the intermittent nature of the problem had been related to waggling of the hose, a non-expert diagnosis would say that it was likely a contact problem in the hose somewhere. Looking inside the cleaner itself seemed to confirm this - no signs of a burnout anywhere.

    Took the cleaner to the local dealer, who sent it to their contractor. Answer came back "its the circuit board in the cleaner thats gone". Because everything inside the cleaner seemed fine, and because of the above-mentioned intermittent nature of the problem, it seemed unlikely that it was the circuit board - in my experience, PCBs either work or they don't.

    I expressed my doubts about their diagnosis, but they were adamant. After they quoted an enormous amount of money to fix the cleaner, I decided to take it back and fix it myself. I contacted the manufacturer and obtained a new PCB (c.£70). I fitted the PCB and still nothing worked.

    At this point I discovered a way to complete the hose circuit without the hose being attached. The cleaner fired into life. Hence my initial diagnosis had been correct. I then re-fitted the original PCB and the cleaner again worked just fine. O.k. £70 out of pocket, because the manufacturer will not take back a part that has been fitted - fair cop there.

    The main issue:

    When I had removed the old PCB, I noticed that one of the major components had been deliberately crushed by someone - presumably in the repair shop - using a pair of side-cutters (the marks were clearly visible on the shattered item). The PCB was still working despite this damage.

    I've had that cleaner since new, and it has never been opened up for repair before. Hence it seems likely that the repair shop simply sabotaged the PCB either to elicit an expensive repair fee, or because they couldn't be fnucked to locate the actual problem.

    I'm now being Mr Angry Customer with a view to at least recouping my £70. Although "the repair shop deliberately damaged my PCB" might not be provable in fact, I'd actually be happy to put the circumstantial evidence in front of a Fast Track magistrate for an opinion.

    I now need a few threats to put into my claim letter, so would be interested to know what technical legal issues might be invoked:


    If the repair shop had indeed done this damage deliberately, what trading or other offence(s) would they have committed?

    - attempting to obtain goods (i.e. service fees) by deception?

    - criminal damage?

    - trading offence related to making electrical goods unsafe?
  2. Lol prove it!!! Not in a million years. Next time do what we all do, just throw it out and buy a new one. Things aren't made to be fixed anymore.
  3. Your word against theirs.

    You've got 2 hope's and Bob isn't here at the moment.
  4. The repair shop has taken you to the cleaners............ :wink:
  5. Both of my glass eyes are now asleep.
  6. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    You may be unlucky in the fact that it is unlikely you can prove who did the damage - but think positive - you have it seems, the natural talent to have a supplementary career and income opportunity as a hoover repair man :D
  7. We're living in the consumer age mate. You should have just slung it the day that it packed up. You'd have got another one for about the same as you paid for the 'hoojamaflip' you bought.
  8. Vacuum cleaner working. Vacuum cleaner stops.

    On looking inside the vacuum cleaner you see that there is carpet fuzz in the brush, but none in the hose.

    Carry on.
  9. Well, yes to all of the learned replies above, it is one of the more trivial issues in the great cosmos at the moment - but it was just one of those days I felt an urge to lash out at rip-off Britain. :D

    I was just interested in the theoretical points of law; maybe one day it'll be something more significant than my old hoover....

    p.s .... haven't you lot anything better to do at them moment than read the "Law" forum?! I've never even been in here until today.
  10. I understand your annoyance because I like to poke obout with things when they go wrong to try to fix them. But, criminal - prove beyond reasonable doubt. I don't think so. Civil - balance of probabilities. Possible but alot of work even at the small claims court and then no certainty of a positive result.
  11. Criminal damage.
  12. Trading standards may be interested if they have had a lot of complaints about the same sort of practices from thr same shop,if not,forget it.

    Don't buy the same brand again..

    p.s .... haven't you lot anything better to do at them moment than read the "Law" forum?! I've never even been in here until today.

  13. it would be difficult to prove who in the shop broke your vacum and then if it was deliberate or just incompetence. It would probably come down to DNA and as you are not currently dead the crime manager at your local nick is going to save his or her money for a juicy murder .

    sue the business in the civil court instead.

  14. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    Send them a secondhand cleaner with a supposed electrical fault, but do a curry-sh!t all over the circuitry, so when they open it up, the get the full effect.