General Question

Kiev749's avatar

Is this really legal?

Asked by Kiev749 (2092 points ) March 26th, 2011

I recently went into a large retail chain to make an insurance claim on a phone that I had purchased there only one month before. I was told the warranty program was you send it off they fix it and send your phone back to you and now when I went in today the program had changed. Now it’s they send you a completely refurbished model. I had my original phone for barely a month and now I get someone’s old, broken phone with refurbished parts. Is that Legal? Can they change policies without informing the policy holders? When you sign up for their service, they get your name, number, and email. it wouldn’t be that damn hard to atleast send an email letting people know. When I called to complain, the attendant helping me said she couldn’t find anything on it either, but found it on the employee page. Can they hide something like this when I am still paying monthly for a service I thought I was getting and now am getting something completely different?

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12 Answers

XOIIO's avatar

Read the fine print. Usually it says Terms are subject to change without notice.

If it was there it’s legal.

bobbinhood's avatar

Do you have your original contract? You should see if it says anything about being subject to change at any time without notification. If that’s in there, then they can do just about whatever they want.

arturodiaz's avatar

Assuming you are from the US, it is probably legal because you signed a contract which probably had the world famous clause “Terms are subject to change without notice”. You can still call the agency for consumer protection in the US, I guess they have one up there.

roundsquare's avatar

Even if it is, for some reason, not legal fighting it won’t be worth your time.

ragingloli's avatar

That is why you let them show you the contract, you read it, then strike out any parts you don’t like and then tell them that you want to negotiate on those new terms.

My former economics teacher did that when he was looking for a new bed. And he was successful with that approach. (he did not buy anything in the end anyway)

WasCy's avatar

I think you’re being unnecessarily harsh in your assessment of what “refurbished” means. Perhaps the product was broken, but a “refurbished” product should be “as good as new”, but since the company is honestly representing it (we hope) it’s not really “new” and can’t be sold or passed off as such.

If it was a good value when you bought it a month ago and you were happy with it when it worked, then a “refurbished” model should do just as well – unless you’re determined to not be satisfied.

roundsquare's avatar

@ragingloli That is probably not going to work most of the time. The people selling you the item probably don’t have the authority to negotiate the contact. Think of the clerks at best buy, I don’t think Verizon have given them the authority to negotiate anything. Even if they did “negotiate” part of the contract it wouldn’t be binding on Verizon.

ragingloli's avatar

@roundsquare
Does not have to be on the spot. Also, the salesperson in my story did not have that authority either so my teacher told him to get someone who does.

ratboy's avatar

In the USA, corporations, although they are “people” when their rights are in question, are not bound by law when profits are at stake.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

No they can’t change it without letting you know… check the fine print on the contract you signed and hold them to it. Whatever the contract says is what’s legal.

XOIIO's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Unless the contract says they can

roundsquare's avatar

@ragingloli Was it a big chain? I’d be shocked if you could pull that off in a chain. Once they start allowing stuff like that they lose a lot of the benefits of economies of scale. I’m sure that if you try that at the Verizon store they would rather not have your business.

Maybe that’s a good reason to shop local whenever possible.

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