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Just Lawyered Yourself, Part 2

, , , , | Right | May 7, 2021

Me: “I agree that your TV is faulty, so please come over to the desk and we’ll arrange to get it repaired for you.”

Customer: “I don’t want it repaired; I want a refund.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but you purchased the item weeks ago and are outside of your fourteen-day return guarantee. We won’t offer a refund; instead, we’re offering to get it repaired free of charge for you.”

Customer: “You can’t do that! I know the law!”

Me: “Which law is that?”

Customer: “The Sales of Goods Act! It says that you have to give me a repair, replacement, or a refund!”

Me: “And the second half?”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “The second half of that law. It contains two sentences, and you only mentioned the first one. It continues, ‘…the choice of which to be offered is at the discretion of the retailer.’ It’s our legal right to attempt to repair it for you within a reasonable amount of time.”

Customer: “That’s not right!”

Me: “See for yourself.” 

I reach into a drawer and take out a laminated screenshot of the Sales of Goods Act taken from the government website, with the address cited at the top and the two relevant sentences in full, highlighted in two different colours to show that they’re part of the same paragraph.

Customer: “But I don’t want it repaired! I want a refund!”

Me: “You’ve had the TV for weeks; that’s well outside the return period, so we’re not offering a refund. We’re offering a free repair, instead.”

Customer: “I’m going to take this to your corporate!”

Me: “Fair enough. Here’s your TV back, and here are all of the details you’ll need so that the office can track your case, including that you spoke to me today. Just let me know when you’re ready to arrange your repair and we’ll get that sorted for you.”

Unsurprisingly, our corporate office was not fond of issuing full-price refunds for nine-plus-month-old electronic equipment, and I regularly kept an eye on the returns figures. 90% of complaining customers came back for their free repair significantly more polite than before, and the rest just disappeared with their broken equipment, never to be heard from again. Presumably, they either made empty threats or were too embarrassed to talk to me after being refused by my higher-ups.

Just Lawyered Yourself

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