I had a recent (bad) experience with a set of wellgo flat pedals failing. A large piece of the main pedal body snapped off while I was out riding, luckily I was able to limp home as the body was still attached to the spindle. These were not cheap pedals, so naturally I went back to the retailer in search of a refund or replacement. I’m happy to report that they will be sending a replacement out soon, however it was not without a fight. I wanted to put parts of the conversation up here as I think it highlights some of the ways in which retailers may try to get out of fulfilling their obligations under Australian consumer laws.
I am writing to you regarding the wellgo pedals that I ordered (see details below). The right pedal catastrophically failed while I was riding late last year. These pedals are used on my commuter bike and I am unhappy at how little use I have got from them given the price. Can I please request a refund or credit note for the full purchase price?
Further to my previous email, I have been in contact with our Returns Department who have informed me that, unfortunately, the Wellgo B144 Flat Pedals are only covered by a 1 year warranty. I’m afraid that as these are nearly 2 years old, the supplier would not class this as a manufacturers fault. Please be advised that we need to confirm the fault with the supplier before an exchange or refund can be processed.
I apologise for any disappointment that this may cause.
If you would like any assistance with finding an alternative product or if you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to let me know and I will be happy to help.
They’ve tried to claim an ‘out of warranty’ defense here, this is bullshit and the ACCC have pages of info as to why. I’m no lawyer but my understanding is that a warranty is something that is volunteered by a retailer/manufacturer, however it does not replace reasonable expectations of durability. For example you would expect a fridge to last beyond a manufacturer’s 3-year warranty, and the ACCC and our consumer laws fortunately sees it this way as well, so if it packed it at 3 years and 2 months the retailer wouldn’t be able to weasel out of some form of repair/replacement/refund.
I return this salvo:
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, as a consumer I have the right to a refund on any defective product for what can be considered its reasonable lifetime. The 1 year warranty that you describe is a voluntary promise offered by <company>, however it does not replace my consumer guarantees, one such guarantee being that as a consumer I can expect reasonable durability from goods purchased, even from overseas entities such as <company>.
Any reasonable consumer would expect a pedal from a reputable brand such as Wellgo and of a price point that places it among other reputable brands such as Time, Shimano and Crank Brothers, to last more than 1 year. I would argue that reasonable durability of this product is also not a function of time but of distance and type of use. In the case of these pedals they were used on my commuter bicycle which sees an average of 2500km of use per year. The fact that these pedals are able to be disassembled for servicing and replacement of internal bearings suggests that as a consumer I could reasonable expect that the main pedal body and spindles would give many tens of thousands of kms of use. The same as you could expect a crank arm not to snap, however would expect that in time a chain will wear down and require replacement.
Thank you for getting back to me.
Unfortunately, we are only able to consider returns for faulty items providing that they are covered by supplier warranty. As they are out of warranty we are unable to offer a refund or exchange on this occasion.
However, you are welcome to contact Wellgo directly to see if they are able to offer a suitable solution.
If you are unable to seek a solution from the supplier we will be happy to look at honouring a suitable discount on a replacement as a gesture of goodwill.
Once again I am truly sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience that this may cause.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything else that I can help you with.[/i]
So, they have tried to fob me off to the manufacturer, no thanks, I bought it from you.
I am not sure how well your returns department understand the nature of consumer protection laws in Australia, and that these protections extend to purchases made through overseas internet shopping channels, and also carry with them specific conditions regarding expectations of durability (Shopping online | ACCC). In any case I would like this problem to be resolved between us in an amicable manner. I did not purchase these goods from wellgo, I purchased them from <company> and as the retailer it is your responsibility to refund the goods if, as in this case they are, not fit for purpose. However, if we are unable to resolve the matter I will be forced to refer it to the ACCC and Office of Fair Trading.
Thank you for your email.
I have spoken to my manager who has confirmed, that on this occasion as a gesture of goodwill, we would be happy to offer you replacement Wellgo B144 Flat Pedals.
Unfortunately, these are currently out of stock but are expected for delivery around Early March.
May I kindly ask if you are happy for me to create a back order for the pedals so that they can be despatched as soon as they become available?
I look forward to hearing from you.
7 emails later we have a result