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No response from Sharper Image

On September 29, 2004, Henry A. Grima sent the following letter to the managing director, Sharper Image, 252/254, Zabbar Road, Fgura, and copied me in:

On September 1, I bought a Waitec Caddy 338 digital camera (serial number A3A058049) from your establishment, Sharper Image, in Fgura for Lm49, with a six-month guarantee, even when the user's manual expressly states it is for two years.

On September 6, I brought it back because it did not work with my computer although I had downloaded the necessary software supplied with the camera. I was given a job-card copy, which included my telephone number and a note that read "to phone you when it is ready for collection".

A week later I called for it, after phoning and having been told that it was ready "a long time ago". I was given a camera and I was told that, "all it needed was just a small adjustment". It transpired that it was not the same camera since it had a different serial number (A3A059214).

I accepted it; however, I was rather sceptical about the quality of these cameras. I had bought some Waitec writable CDs a while back and they were all useless. When I took them back, the salesman gave me another box and it transpired that the whole batch (i.e. a whole shelf of CDs) was defective!

The salesman tried to give me a credit note for Lm2 but, instead, I bought something else. I couldn't imagine carrying a credit note for Lm2 until I needed to buy something from Sharper Image sometime in the future! The hassle to find a parking space was enough to put me off redeeming it. In fact on September 20, I took the second camera back because the flash system did not function.

Again I was given a job-card copy, but this time I had to ask the salesman to include the serial number, which he added on in his handwriting. On September 24, I phoned and was informed by the salesman that I was right to take it back as the camera was beyond repair.

I told him that I wanted my money back and he replied that he would give me a credit note. When I refused it he said that he had to ask you about it, and phone me back.

I phoned again last Monday and he said that he had not seen you since Thursday. I was to wait on the line as he was going to contact you there and then. Your answer was "no money back". The salesman then said that more cameras were coming and I could have one of them.

I declined the offer whereupon he said that "it was better if I had the credit note as then I would have something in hand".

I still declined the credit note and told him that I would be "seeing his boss in court". I waited for you to reconsider my case, but to no avail. Your very disappointed customer, (Henry A. Grima)

On October 5 I acknowledged receipt of this letter and sent a note to the managing director Sharper Image asking for his comments, to no avail. On January 12 I sent him a photocopy of the letter and a second request for his comments, still to no avail. On February 23 and April 13 I sent him yet more photocopies and again requested his comments, to no avail. I believe that, at this stage, the managing director of Sharper Image has been given more than a fair opportunity to give us his side of the case. However he is still welcome to do so.

Moreover, regarding Mr Grima's comment regarding the guarantee validity period I must stress that the legal guarantee is valid for two years.

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