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VIC Refund for Laptop - What Else Can Consumer Affairs Victoria Do?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by Monksley, 11 March 2015.

  1. Monksley

    Monksley Member

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    Hi guys,

    At the start, I would like to apologise for my bad English. I pre-ordered a laptop from a store in Melbourne and paid whole amount for that ($3000) in cash on 10th of Jan 2015. The store claimed that laptop will be available on 29th of Jan and then have changed ETA about 3 times (from 29.01 to 06.02, then to 20.02, again to 09.03 and now to 06.04.2015).

    As I was unhappy with their delays, on 20th of Feb I've asked for refund. The seller said that there is no problem and took my bank and credit card details for refund and promised me refund in 48 hour. After a week of waiting I write a complaint online to Customer Service and received email from them asking me again for bank details so the refund can be processed.

    It's been over 3 weeks, and I haven't received my money back from them. I've been trying to contact them again online but, no one get back to me and the person who sold me laptop at the store said that he doesn't know why its taking so long, but doesn't feel to help or contact me either. I've involved Consumer Affairs Victoria in my case. They've contact seller and his promised to take care of the refund and since then (2nd March, but) I still don't have my money back.

    My question is where can I seek for help in that case?

    It's not only that I paid for product and never received it. I needed laptop for my IT studies as my old one was in bad condition and I couldn't finish my assessments. I've pre-order that laptop in case if something goes wrong with my old laptop and that's what happened. Since end of January, I don't have my laptop and my money back to buy new one. I failed my studies and now I have to pay penalty to extend my assessments date. I'm mentally exhausted because of stress I'm going through with this company. Every day and night I have to think how to get my money back, if I'm going to get them back, how I'm supposed to work without my laptop and finish my studies. From that moment I feel sick and I feel like I'm victim of their unfair trading. If someone please can help me to find solution under Australian Consumer Law or point me to the right direction how to get my money back as soon as I can I would greatly appreciate that.

    Kind regards,

    D.
     
  2. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monksley,

    Have you tried calling consumer affairs again to enquire about the outcome of your case, or to escalate the matter further? Perhaps consumer affairs can add a deadline for when the refund can be forwarded.

    Otherwise, you could write a letter to the company demanding a refund within [14] days otherwise you may seek immediate legal action. This might threaten them into action faster.
     
  3. Monksley

    Monksley Member

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    Hi Tracy,

    Yes I did for the last two weeks and I've been asked to give them week and see if I'm going to receive my money back. I asked as well if they can add deadline for refund. So far I got answer that I have right to go to VCAT if I wish and got phone number to call them.
    That's not really what I've expected from Consumer Affairs. All my emails has been forwarded to seller but I never get any information from CA what have been said between CA and seller so I feel little bit like CA is not necessarily on my site... Anyway...

    Is it legal to send them this kind of threatening emails about immediate legal action? I sent them already about 3 complaint letters regarding the refund and that they don't want to precise date when it would be processed and so far I've been just ignored for the last couple of weeks.

    Kind regards,

    D.
     
  4. lawanswers

    lawanswers Moderator
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  5. Monksley

    Monksley Member

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    Thank you Lawanswers for response.
    Well... Today I've been trying to contact seller and he just told me that his busy and will get back to me (didn't call back). Afterwards I wrote an email to their customer service with information that it's been over 2 weeks since they said that my refund is being processed and I demand refund within 7 days or I will seek for immediate legal action (as Tracy suggested). Let's see until end of this week what's going to be.
    And how can I seek for chargeback from their bank? I paid for this laptop in cash at the store so is it possible to get the chargeback?
    If I will not receive refund until Monday I will get in touch for sure with VCAT.
    I just would like to ask if you don't mind how Consumer Affairs can help me with that? I've expected that maybe you can give them deadline time or they going to get fined for unfair trading, etc. Somehow I just doesn't see much of a help from CA side as I would expect. As I can see my all emails between CA and me has been forwarded to the seller but I have no idea what was his response to that as I don't receive any information from both sides - his and CA. On top of that all my personal details including address have been given to someone with who I do not really feel like to share this information.
    Once again thank you for doing your best and I appreciate any other information regarding my problem.

    Kind regards,

    D.
     
  6. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    Hi Monksley,

    Consumer Affairs have limited power, which is given to them by statute. If they cannot help they will refer you to VCAT. This is because Consumer Affairs is not a court and so have limited power to mandate action from businesses. Most businesses act in good faith and cooperate with Consumer Affairs but not all do.

    The business' unwillingness to cooperate, or even to communicate with you and/or Consumer Affairs, could assist with your case in VCAT.

    Sending the letter is usually a courtesy (and often kicks them into action). It gives the other side a set deadline to resolve the matter or respond to you and tells them specifically what next steps you may take. This is employed by creditors (e.g. banks) often.

    Make a note of every attempt you have made to communicate with the business, and every letter/email etc. you have sent them. Note their response (and lack of response). This may all be useful in VCAT.
     
  7. Monksley

    Monksley Member

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    Hi Tracy B,

    Thank you for advice once again.
    Didn't know how much is limited power of Consumer Affairs and so far I can see that this company doesn't really want to cooperate with CA but anyway... I've visit store yesterday and I had polite argument with sales manager. I demand to give me deadline of the refund so after sales manager have contacted head office he promised to sort it out until 19th of March (Wednesday) next week and I've requested email with confirmation so they have send me email confirming that I will receive refund until that date.

    I keep notes of all me complaint letters, my request and when did I try to get in touch with business, many of them haven't been answered.
    Let's see how it will finish until next week. If I will not receive full amount of my money then I will contact VCAT.

    Thank you for looking after my case. Wish you good weekend.

    Kind regards,

    D.
     
  8. Tracy B

    Tracy B Well-Known Member

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    You're most welcome. I hope it works out and you get your refund on the promised date. Thanks for updating us on your matter.
     

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