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Santa Fe's moan thread...
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Santa Fe's moan thread... Reply with quote

As a grumpy old git, I thought I'd like a place to moan about things in general.. feel free to share your moans too if you want!

I'm presently constructing a firebreast which will look quite snazzy when it's finished. It'll house a 50" TV over a wide, built in log type fire and will be clad in sparkly black granite tiles.

Of course I want all the cables to the TV to be concealed so I've built in a duct from behind the TV to the bottom left where the Home Cinema thingy will be, approx 4 metres away.
But what cables do I need?
Off I go to Maplins Electrical and they advise I need at least 2 HDMI leads, another lead which has those coloured jack plugs on the ends and a AV lead "just in case"... plus of course, if I'm having a Wii Razz , I'll need that cable too, but that only comes with the Wii unit.
Total for the leads? 180.... Shocked

When I checked out our local stores, Bennett's were the only ones who stocked the 5m HDMI cable at 88 each!!.
I Googled the lead and found it ranged from 14 to a staggering 146!

Maplins were middle ground at 49..

It's a lot of cash for a few wires isn't it?

I don't really want SKY but "Free Sat" looks good to me.

Does any body know where the cable would go on this Free Sat system? ie, to the TV or the Home Cinema unit?
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nod



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not cheap are they these wires Rolling Eyes

I think you can choose to put the HDMI (I assuming you'll be getting a HD freesat box) from the FREESAT to the TV or the Cinema box.

If you put it direct to the TV then you'll need a HDMI socket for it and can choose it from the TV remote but presumably you won't get surround sound just stereo.

If you route it through the Cinema box then if you have surround sound then presuambly you will get that though there.

There appears to be so many options these days, HDMI with / without sound, optical outputs for the sound which you can connect to your cinema box. Presumably you can also route the HDMI through the cinema box so you can select the sound source with the picture (useful I would have thought).

You might even save money on the length of the HDMI cables etc if you cable to the cinema box and then use an existing output from there to the TV Smile
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optical outputs?? they didn't mention that.. I'd better look at the TV instructions. ( It's not out of the box yet )

Yes, I'm assuming the Free Sat signal will be ok to go straight into the Home Cinema ( or amplifier in old money ) then via a common ( Freeview/FreeSat/analogue/aerial ) HDMI cable to the TV which will give me one spare HDMI cable which could be used for a Playstation I assume ( I don't have one of those either. )

Actually, thinking about it, I'll run a length of digital aerial cable through too... and some draw strings...

I'm keen to make use of the High Definition signal which I understand FreeSat provides as I believe the picture is certainly better.
But I'm not so sure about the normal picture on these big TVs! Dare I say most are not as good picture as the old Tube TVs! Confused
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nod



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Optical will be AUDIO output from the FREESAT if there is one.

'Digital aerial' there is no such thing, aerials just recieve RF they don't mind if its analogue or digital, its marketing hype to get to buy a new aerial. If it works OK with analogue digital should work OK.

You'll find the BBC HD on freesat is excellent, but use a HDMI cable.

You maybe a bit disappointed with the normal SD stuff close up, just don't sit /stand too close or you will see all the artifacts Very Happy
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, one of our staff was "told" to have a digital aerial fitted recently.
I said there was no such thing.
Upon enquiry to our aerial people, they got a bit shifty about it and said there were better quality aerials available... but they weren't really necessary..

I was thinking more of the cable. I was told there is a "digital quality" cable. I've been installing it in our place here but the only difference I can see is it's black instead of brown! Laughing

It's all too much really. Wasn't it nice when you simply bought something, plugged it in and it worked?

I've yet to go down the route of a Blue-Ray player... I hear it's the very latest thing... for 3 months... Rolling Eyes
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nod



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm waiting for the Panasonic FREESAT receiver, Hard Disk and Blu-Ray recorder all in one box that's been rumoured Very Happy
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found out this weekend that the Blu Ray DVD player doesn't record... but what a surprise, they will be available soon. So that's on hold then.
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I wanted two tiling jobs done .. I can "tile" but time is tight and I got two Tilers round to give quotes.
The first chap only did half the job as he didn't want to put the slightly complicated "dado" tile trim around the top of the main tiles about 900mm above the floor.

The second Tiler was supposed to come on the 20th with further visits on the 21st and 22nd..
He didn't even turn up and no phone call either.... must have plenty of work around here! Evil or Very Mad
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightbulbs!

I was half listening to the Breakfast News this morning when they said as from September (?) we won't be able to buy 100W tungsten lightbulbs. 60W bulbs will follow next year, and all traditional lightbulbs will be unavailable in a few years time.

I find this both unbelievable and worrying too!

Because of our crazy energy bills here, I started a programme of replacing the Tunsten bulbs with the newer Low Energy ones.
I'm not really impressed so far. My main concern was the cost of them but at least Tesco and Screwfix seem to have brought them down to about 70p, but "Will last 8 years"?? no way.
Several have packed up already within weeks!

Another concern is the regular LE Tesco bulbs won't fit into our bedside lights or table lamp fittings - the base is too big.

Also, my elderly residents don't like them at all, they are not bright enough when they first turn them on.. so they leave them on all day! ( and they DO get hot!)

But another worrying thing is, are they also going to stop production of the smaller 12v bulbs? the ones they use in those little recessed ceiling lights and, the "car headlight" Halogen kind which are in most modern low voltage light fittings being sold today? and what about candle bulbs? those light fittings probably won't take the larger LE bulbs.

My house is fitted all over with dimmers.. you can't dim a LE bulb.

This could be a costly nightmare! Evil or Very Mad
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Lord Evan Elpuss



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And wasn't there supposed to be problems with disposing of spent light bulbs? i.e. you're not supposed to just chuck them in the bin like ordinary bulbs.

Because of our crazy energy bills here, I started a programme of replacing the Tunsten bulbs with the newer Low Energy ones.
I'm not really impressed so far. My main concern was the cost of them

You must be one of the few who didn't get any free ones in the post last year!! Shocked
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, although I'm a British Gas customer, I didn't get them!
problem is, I just did a rough count up in my head and we need over 400 bulbs for our business..
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John W



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many of the bulbs in our house are those 50W spotlights that look like the old Mercury spaceships from the early 60s.

I suppose those bulbs and all the fittings will be obsolete soon?

Have to admit they are big energy consumers because we have sets of three (total 150W) in four rooms



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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, those are typical of the ones I'm talking about and the smaller version too. These bulbs are to be seen everywhere!
I think I'm right in saying these bulbs can be replaced by LE or LED versions but I'm sure they can't be dimmed and lets face it, they give a horrible light and they're a terrific price!

As somebody mentioned on TV this morning, this is the government placing blame, guilt and responsibility on Joe Public again!
There should be a suitable Nuclear and renewable energy programme in place to meet the Country's needs!
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite naturally, stocks of all traditional incandescent bulbs have been panic-bought off the shelves and, since they have actually stopped manufacturing the 100W ones, the prospect of replenishment is slim.

The size of the energy saving bulbs can be a problem, and I'm amazed that there doesn't seem to be a standard. Prices are coming down and if you have a branch of Homebase near at hand you'll find the Philips Genie 10-year (10,000 hours) bulbs at five for 1; they are quite small and may fit the bill in a domestic setting. If you want full instant start-up brightness you still have to pay more - Asda sell GE Energy Savings Decor, a spiral bulb very slightly larger than its old fashioned equivalent, for 1.99 - lasts "8 years at 2.7 hours a day".

And you're right - they can't be used with dimmer switches, and they are not recyclable - in fact they are so toxic councils would rather you didn't put them even in general, landfill type rubbish.
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Ron, I'll check out the spiral shaped ones because in some cases we do need the "instant brightness"

Do you have any information on the future of the small 12v Halogen type bulbs? they are incandescent after all...
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alas, not. I daresay they'll get around to those in time. The government's own website is light on specifics, http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/household/products/cfl.htm
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had another LE bulb fail today which got me thinking... are we expected to keep the receipts for these bulbs for 8 years? Laughing
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently noticed my side of our matress was a bit saggy along the edge. We've only had it about 8 months or so and it wasn't cheap either at about 500.. it's one of those with a top layer of memory foam and it's hypo-allergenic too.
Mrs SF was on the phone in no time and they are willing to replace it but..
they told her "you're not supposed to sit on the edge" Shocked
I thought that was a bit much... Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had one of those "Space Technology" matresses for about 3 months now, Santa, ( jolly warm aren't they?), I like it, hubby isn't so keen. We read some reviews before we bought it, some were good, some not so, mentioning that some makes go saggy/lumpy after a few months. The instructions do say not to sit on or sleep at the edges. So far no problems with ours. I've never had such good sleep , I don't thrash about like I used to on the old matress.
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you're right, it is warm compared to our old matress.. I'll mention this to Mrs SF because she's been complaining that she gets too hot overnight ( even though she refuses to sleep with her feet out like me! Laughing ... we have a ceiling fan on all night too.)
Does it really say not to sit on the edge?? I'm surprised they are willing replace it in that case..
I obviously didn't read the instructions.. well, you wouldn't usually...
"Place matress on bed, make bed, lay down and sleep" Razz
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does.. well, it says "avoid sitting on the edges". It was just a little bit of paper that came with it ... ours came shrink wrapped by TNT ... it took a whole day to swell up to its proper size when we let it out of the bag. They are really heavy ... hats off to NASA for getting these things into space, it was all we could do to get it up the stairs!
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They are delivering a replacement matress this Wednesday so I'll make sure I look at the instructions this time...

I'll have to find someplace else to put my socks on! I'm a little to old to hop around on one leg.. Laughing
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RockitRon



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing I can still do it, though I have to do it out of sight of OH, otherwise she's likely to wee herself laughing!

I should have thought that it would have been inadvisable (and there would be instructions to the effect) to sit on the edge of any mattress, or cushion, where there's no support from the springs or body of the thing.
That was why our parents always told us to sit properly on a chair/sofa, to prevent the edges degrading.

Eight months is a bit quick, though.
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing I would ban without a doubt is automated telephone answering! Evil or Very Mad
I just attempted to ring our local DVLA in Norwich but of course you get through to Swansea - again...
I just wanted to know if the local office could tax my car at the same time as transferring a new number to it..
First I had 3 options, then 4 options followed by a further 5 options.. none of which are relevant to my query. I can feel my blood pressure rising.
I finally get to speak to somebody and explain that as it's close to the end of the month, can I tax my car along with the number change ready for it's first MOT which is due shortly.
She pretends to understand and puts me through to the same line of options..
Why can't we just speak to LOCAL people anymore??
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know what you mean, SFF Evil or Very Mad

By the way, does this mean you've had nothing to moan about since September? Laughing
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

if only... Laughing I could write a page on the hassle I've had this morning so far!
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Post Offices... I want to have another selling spree on Ebay and it's been sometime since my last session. Since then, they've closed down my local Post office just down the street.. God knows why, it was part of a Chemist shop and always busy!
The nearest to me now is our local High Street ( which is within a News Agent/General Store ) and normally too busy! usually 20 people waiting in line, plus you can't park anywhere near!
I asked some people here today where they would go to and it struck me just how few and far apart the PO's are nowadays!
How the heck did they get away with this?
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aviddiva



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject: Santa Fe's Moan thread Reply with quote

I agree about those automated options on phone lines - Aire Valley Homes are notorious for that sort of thing and I feel Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush should be listed in the patrons on their paperwork, as both take ages to get things sorted!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Santa Fe's Moan thread Reply with quote

Wakefield Council's inability to put grit down in outlying areas is a farce. They've had more falls than a month's worth of You've Been Framed. My mum fell recently.

Thanks also to Charlie Brooker on Newswipe for showing some news providers' insensitivity to accidents like this. Mr. Green
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could come to terms with how things are today.. I really do.

For some reason, my Panasonic DVD/VCR unit played up displaying a fault code which, despite the manual's assurance that a "reset" was all that was required, meant the machine locked up..

Hughes TV said it could be repaired but came in with a quote of 180.. I can get a new one off the net for 207.
Apparently, it needs a new DVD drive unit.

I consider myself intelligent enough to remove the cover, take out 4 screws and replace the unit so I called Panasonic for a price.
I'm told they "do not sell to the public and neither would their outlets on "Health and Safety" grounds".

Three phone calls to various electrical repair stores revealed this to be true.. they will not sell me a Panasonic DVD drive for my machine.

"So basically, I have to throw it away, even though it still has a perfectly good VHS and SD card reader in it?" "Yes" was the answer.

This makes me so angry! and, combined with the constant auto telephone answering/multi choice options... well my blood pressure is sky high.

I'm beginning to think the 5 year optional warranty may not be such a bad thing after all?

Or... should I look at it another way.. I paid 275 for the machine and it's three years old.. it's done a good job! Bin it and buy another?
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi SF,

It makes you mad doesn't it!

Have you tried Ebay for a replacement?

Our first DVD/HDD recorder, 5 years old now, stopped playing and recording anything on the DVD part but the HDD still worked. I had a lot of unfinalised DVDs which would have been of no use (they won't play on another type of machine) and to repair would have meant they would have wiped the HDD. I also had a load of things on that part which I didn't want to lose but had no way of copying them to a DVD.

I went on Ebay and managed to find an identical, probably refurbished, model for 50 from a dealer. I'd already checked with the local Sony shop that my discs could be finalised on most Sony machines, in fact they did one for me, so went ahead and bought it. Worked a treat and tied us over until the digital switchover in our area last year made it redundant for recording anyway. Just to have it looked at would have cost me more than the replacement.

H
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't thought of Ebay Helen.. I'll give it a go this evening as Mrs SF watches Holby! Rolling Eyes
Another thing I found out this afternoon is that the machine would also need re-programming using "Firmware??" to accept the new DVD drive even if I did get hold of one... so that would probably see me off all together - messing about with software! Laughing

I have already bought a new unit and, from Hughes! even though they were 23 more than the Net site.. " I like to support local shops if I can" I offered but it didn't make much difference to my dilemma.
Just to make things worse, even though they told me this was the new version of my machine, it isn't!
I realised when I got it home and wired up - it doesn't have the SD reader.. so it's an inferior product!! Laughing
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I'm certainly not a happy bunny today!.. it was announced on Radio 2 recently that the British Heart Foundation would happily collect redundant TVs for reconditioning and forwarding to Africa.

So this morning, despite my heavy workload for the next day or so, I struggled down from our second floor with about 15 TV sets.. large and small and stood them all by a rear exit.
The guys came along and said they'll only take "those two".. the silver ones and only if they have the remotes..
They said they won't take any black ones and none without the remote...
I simply exploded and told them to go away (or similar words)
So now I have 15 TVs with nowhere to go and of course, we're not allowed to put them in our skip either!
My wife is currently texting the BBC to complain...
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
Or... should I look at it another way.. I paid 275 for the machine and it's three years old.. it's done a good job! Bin it and buy another?


Sorry dredge up an older post, but I've just noticed this after looking at the latest post.

If such a premium-brand product packs up at 3 years old it wasn't fit for purpose when sold to you - regardless of the coverage of the so-called "warranty". A couple of years back, I was approached by a solicitor (acting for someone who was taking a major retailer to court on the grounds that they would not replace an item that went faulty a year after the warranty expired) to provide a professional view of what constituted "fit for purpose" where camcorders are concerned.

The plaintiff claimed that because a camcorder broke down 4 months after a 2 year warranty had expired it wasn't "fit for purpose" and that, under the Sale of Goods Act, he was still liable for replacement or a refund. The defendant claimed this not be so, hence the court action.

I was asked in court whether,in my professional opinion, I considered that the breakdown was reasonable after such a time. I replied that I did not think it was. I was then asked what I thought a "reasonable" life for a camcorder was, and I replied "5 years at the very minimum", adding that I have working camcorders and other video gear that are twice that age and still functioning fine.

Of course, to begin with, I was asked to outline my professional credentials so I explained that I've worked with video and related systems for 35 years, that I've written over 450 magazine articles and (then) two books on the subject (now 4!) and that I was also running a Beginners' Q&A page for a major consumer video magazine.

After a pathetic cross-examination from the defence counsel (which clearly demonstrated a poor briefing), the judge found in favour of the plaintiff, who was awarded the cost of an equivalent replacement and substantial costs - including my fee of 6 hours x 50.00 plus parking expenses! Smile

So........... "fit for purpose - for a reasonable post-purchase period" is the key when something breaks down. Warranties are often a waste of paper - and extended warranties are a complete rip-off.
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Colin and yes, I wouldn't be surprised if many cases were won on that basis.
I once had cause to contact Trading Standards after a reasonably expensive car I'd bought produced a "whiny" noise I didn't like, but the cause was hard to discover.. which may have only come to light after the warranty had expired. They gave me a similar answer to your own response, based on "fit for purpose".
Just to add to my woes this week, our commercial washer dryer ( MayTag, an American machine ) packed up..
I had a "new" Zanussi washer in the store, which although 24 months old, was still boxed up having never been unpacked..
great! I thought, I'll connect the Zanussi as a temporary measure..

it lasted about a week before it packed up too!!

Trouble is, I just can't be bothered to chase things up nowadays.. I get too worked up dealing with people over the phone..
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

p.s... love the Groucho lines.. Laughing He's a hero of mine!

"Why Lulabell.... I didn't recognise you standing up Laughing !"
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
Trouble is, I just can't be bothered to chase things up nowadays.. I get too worked up dealing with people over the phone..


I don't usually take up such matters on the phone. I prefer to write letters starting with the words "Without Prejudice" and then "Take notice that.....". It's always good to give a deadline, too, pending a formal written complaint to Trading Standards, a regulalory body or whatever.

It always works without fail.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just have to get the next couple of weeks out of the way and maybe I'll do that Colin..
My hassles continue.. this morning my kitchen Teac hifi unit refused to operate on the DAB function! it just reads "Tuning.."
I'll look up the guarantee on it. What's the betting it's just over 1 year old?? Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
My hassles continue.. this morning my kitchen Teac hifi unit refused to operate on the DAB function! it just reads "Tuning.."


That won't be a problem with the unit, that'll be because DAB is utter crap! Mine does that too - so I just switch it off at the mains, switch it back on and then it usually manages to lock into the signal.

SantaFefan wrote:
I'll look up the guarantee on it. What's the betting it's just over 1 year old?? Rolling Eyes


If it is over a year old it still won't be a problem ("fit for purpose" and all that!).
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SantaFefan



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it's not the DAB service... I checked straight away if my Roberts unit worked and it does. ( I get a strong DAB signal here on the Norfolk coast by the way.. it really is much better than FM imo )

I've also tried the "re-set" procedure all the ways I can think of but it doesn't want to play.. Sad
( it works on FM.. )
I've got some work hassle to get out of the way this morning and I'll look for the guarantee after lunch. In a way, I'm hoping it'll only have a couple of days to run! Cool
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