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Supplier moan Robert Horne Group - what would you guys do?

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Post Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:55 pm

Supplier moan Robert Horne Group - what would you guys do?

Hi everyone,

I made a post a few weeks ago asking who you guys used as I was looking at using alternative suppliers. Well, I've pretty much exhausted my patience with my existing and thought I'd give you all a pretty brief description of what has happened and ask your thoughts........

I have an Ability laminator which I bought from Europoint / Robert Horne. Pretty much since the outset it was causing me problems so I contacted them and they sent me a replacement. Shortly after the warranty expired on the replacement machine I started getting the same problem and contacted them / their suppliers.

Some time on now we're still having the same problems and had been initially told by RHG that the laminator was part of a faulty batch, the fault was known to their suppliers (Print Finishing Solutions) but they couldn't fix it - so they'd give me a bit of a discount on a replacement. Naturally I refused as I was furious they'd sold me a f***** machine, couldn't fix it and were willing to do nothing other than offer me a discount - expescially given that they get a large portion of our business with regards to vinyl, composite etc AND we bought a printer from them!

So, after two months, they've came back with another offer. They're willing to give me a superior laminator for £800 but they want me to pay £1600 initially and they'll give me £800 back in June 2011 if I continue to use them!!??

I wonder if I'll see my £800 in June 2011 and feel I shouldn't be paying jack s*** anyway since they sold me a machine that was part of a faulty batch!

RHG sees four figures from us almost every month. On top of this I'm considering changing the printer. Ultimately if I need to walk out and buy a new laminator at a cost of 3-4k then yes, I'll be out of pocket but I'm at the stage now that I'd sooner do that and cancel my account and purchase the replacement printer elsewhere!

Yes, the warranty had expired but given the fact that they've admitted it is part of a "faulty batch" and that I spend money with them every month, and have done for years, I think they're after sales service and customer service skills need a little attention!

I've spoken to our solicitor throughout and I've got an appointment with him later next week to give him the latest. Rant over! What would you do?

Nick.
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Post Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:22 pm

my opinion only , the warranty has to end on paper at some point, so no matter if its a day over or a month over its still out of warranty.
the rest is up to rhg to make a contribution or not, i guess you will find out how much they value your custom.
good luck
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Post Sat Aug 28, 2010 10:57 pm

Re: Supplier moan Robert Horne Group - what would you guys do?

Nick Monir wrote:I have an Ability laminator which I bought from Europoint / Robert Horne. Pretty much since the outset it was causing me problems so I contacted them and they sent me a replacement. Shortly after the warranty expired on the replacement machine I started getting the same problem and contacted them / their suppliers.

Nick.


Have a VW Touareg, had a fault when new, VW fixed it. 2/12 years later with 66K miles on it, the same fault arose, but i was 6K over my warranty, I FIXED IT!!!. sorry but warranty has to stop somewhere, I think they are being fairly reasonable.

Ian
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:09 am

Everybody is saying a warranty has to stop somewhere...it does. Purely and squarely on the shoulders of the supplier who sold it to you.

In retail, goods MUST be of merchantable quality and carry a reasonable warranty comparable to the expected lifespan (not just the 'one year'). If a fault was inherent, and admitted or proved to be faulty at time of manufacture - it is ALWAYS the fault of the supplier for selling it. They are obliged to repair - replace - refund in that general order.

Check out the Sale Of Goods Act, it may be of some help.

Dave
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:04 am

Thanks for the input guys. We had a car that was recalled by the manufacturer because of a known fault. The parts were replaced (at a retail cost of over £3k) and the manufacturer carried the can! The car was over 1 year out of warranty but the fault was.............. from manufacture!

The warranty may be out but the problem has been there since the day it was made - this is my point. It all comes down to how much they value my custom too. Hmm. :-?
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:33 am

I tend to agree with david on this one.

If it was faulty from the start, and they've admitted it (somewhat foolishly I'd suggest) then the reseller has an obligation to guarantee the fix or replace it.

As long as its well documented, a solicitor would have little trouble getting an expensive resolution on your behalf.

For what its worth, its not actually RHG's problem, it is the manufacturer that should wear the blame, but having admitted it was from a faulty batch, they have put themselves in the frame. If you've not got the admission from the manufacturer, then its going to be easier for you to take action against RHG as they have already admitted liability by confessing to know the problem is inherent. The courts will see that they shouldn't have sold it if they knew it had a fault.

edit: changed typo
Last edited by Shane Drew on Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:44 am

Take them to court mate
they will fold when your lawyer also hits them with loss of earnings as a direct cause of the faulty machine.
Sale of Goods act covers all of this, and if you have the paper work //emails proving that they knew about this, They don't have a leg to stand on,
In fact i doubt that it will get to court...
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:53 am

I think I'm right in saying, that Sale of Goods act in the UK, put the onus on the supplier, not the
manufacturer. Your first recourse is with your supplier. They in turn must recover any costs from
their supplier, ie. the manufacturer.
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:16 pm

Just to be a little fly in the ointment, I had a very long and interesting chat with Trading Standards just last week about a van I purchased from a dealer. It was regarding blame/fault/liability if the van fell to bits a mile up the road after purchase.

I had been led to believe by chatting to various people that ANY goods sold are covered by the Sale of Goods act, as previous posters in this thread have mentioned.

Apparently Sale of Goods act covers 'business to private', not 'business to business'. There are loopholes and if a transaction is 'business to business', the supplier isn't neccessarily liable when things go wrong. Grey areas all round and not so straightforward, or so I was told on the phone.

Give them a call.
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Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:38 pm

Thanks for the input folks. It would be the Robert Horne Group that we would need to pursue. The thing that is sickening me is that we spend a reasonable amount of money with these guys and they don't really seem too interested in coming to a quick solution. They know that every time we use the laminator we take the chance that it will crease the laminate/print, yet it has taken them almost 3 months to get to the stage of making an unacceptable offer.

So....... need to source a laminator, an alternative supplier and sharpen the solicitor's talons! :(
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Post Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:49 am

[i]Must admitt I too was under the impression if the fault was acknowledged whilst under warranty it was the suppliers responsibility to follow things through. Basically it wasn't right from the start. If straight cut warranty end, was the case, suppliers, especially car dealers would just fix things with the minimal cost and effort just to get you through the warranty period. I'm sure that goes on, just depends if you're prepared to roll over and play dead, or fight and take it to court if necessary. On top of that, and the bit that seems to have been missed in this case, is the warranty started afresh when you took delivery of the second machine. The business to business difference in legislating Gareth mentioned is not something I'm familiar with. I don't doubt it though, as some high performance/race car and bike parts have no warranty at all. I know you've reached a conclusion already, and it's exactly how I'd approach it, so I'm going over covered ground. But it's good to name and shame companies on forums for the sake of the rest of us, I know that's not helping you at the minute though. Good luck and give it you're best..[/i]
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Post Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:31 pm

Thanks for the reply Bob. Just a quick update as things progress. Last week RHG agreed to repair the machine. I was told they "believed" the parts were in the UK and we could have it up and running within a couple of days.

The reality is that the parts have only just left China, they can't give me a definate date for delivery, can't tell me who is bringing them to the UK and therefor can't give me a tracking number to find out where they are. Meanwhile we're left without a laminator until these parts, being carried by an unknown carrier, decide to appear at the engineer, be shipped to us, then the machine repaired.

A pretty unsatisfactory solution so far so, upon the instructions of the solicitor, we've given them until midday on Monday to give us an exact date for delivery/installation. If they can't satisfy this then we're back to square one.

At least we can ascertain one thing - our new printer won't be coming from Robert Horne Group!

Nick.
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Post Sat Sep 04, 2010 10:12 pm

I've realised from my recent little quest to buy a new plotter that there are more companies out there you wouldn't chose to deal with than would. The lack of supplier knowledge is scary, and you know that should a problem arise you'd be on your own.
I've dealt with Spandex for over twenty years, couple of times they've caused me a bit of grief, but it's always worked out in the end. That's why after having a look around and contacting a few other companies I shall be buying my new stuff from them without a doubt. They may be worth contacting if you need a printer.
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Post Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:33 pm

Bob Clarkson wrote:I've realised from my recent little quest to buy a new plotter that there are more companies out there you wouldn't chose to deal with than would. The lack of supplier knowledge is scary, and you know that should a problem arise you'd be on your own.
I've dealt with Spandex for over twenty years, couple of times they've caused me a bit of grief, but it's always worked out in the end. That's why after having a look around and contacting a few other companies I shall be buying my new stuff from them without a doubt. They may be worth contacting if you need a printer.

There have been quite a few complaints about spandex with a similar nature to Nik's, so they are not perfect either, and only sell certain products.
A good solution would be for Nik to specify which printer he prefers, then ask uksb members for recommended suppliers.

Not knocking your suggestion Bob, just saying the big players are not always the best

Peter

Ps can you please use the standard text, like everyone else?
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:58 am

Sorry, no problem, I'll leave the text normal. I usually slant my forum posts and general letters/correspondence as I find it a smoother read.



I'm pretty sure no company is perfect, as I said Spandex has caused me a bit of grief on a couple of occasions. But over the time I've used them, even when I've been years out of warranty, they've always taken the time to diagnose the problem from my explanation, even had me hold the phone to the cutter so they can hear the noise it was making. Once they'd sold me the part, never cheap, but always acceptable, talked me through the fitting if necessary.

As I put in one of my previous posts, so many of these suppliers just sell machines on, they don't even see them in a lot of cases, they are shipped direct. This is all well and good, but if you get a problem there is no one you can phone at the suppliers who really knows anything about them.

The fact people can install them means nothing. A friend of mine used to install computer systems, all he knew was how to install that system, the average 15yr old would have known more about computers. He had that job because he could sell, that was the only reason.

I know hindsight is a wonderful thing, but if Nik had bought from a company that understood the stuff they were selling, it may have been a quick fix. The fact it was stated as a (faulty batch) does actually help if you think about it, if the fault is acknowledged, they know what it is.

If an engineers understands what that fault means in real terms, it's far easier for him to fix it. Big companies generally have bigger stocks of parts too, it may avoid waiting for shipping in some cases. By mass they will have had more chance of coming up against the same problems before, saves time again. If the suppliers has it's own engineers as well, you've saved a mass of time and hassle. It's the same with our trade, a professional can lay a van out in minutes, an amateur will take hours, and still hash it up.

What I really wanted to know on my first ever post was, what do I need to buy?, who do I need to buy it from?, and who should I avoid like the plague?. I fully accept there will be many companies out there far nicer than Spandex for me to deal with, trouble is I can't find them. I joined the forum initially if I'm honest, and sorry Nik, but it was to avoid being in the position you are now in.
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:36 pm

Hi Nick
just read your post re RHG, did RHG back down, I'm glad you did the post as we were thinking of using them not so sure now we’re no where near as big as you so we would have got pretty S*** service then , maybe they are getting to big, there seems to be a lot of Negative things of late about RHG, has anyone else noticed this or is it just me
We have a jet-mounter 54” laminator up for sale in the forum

Regards
Kev..
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:08 pm

I sort of agree with Bob but as Peter said “big players are not always the best”, I think its more Important to have good back up , the purchase is a one off, the backup supply of consumables and support is for as long as you are a customer, as you say big players tend to have more knowledge and resources but don’t have as much to lose as a small supplier, and everyone has a bad day now and then even suppliers, you just got to build a good relationship with your contacts, I often find myself thinking what have they got to lose if they upset me, generally Sod all, Iam just not that trusting of big players they can get to big and to complacent , This signboard is great, as its the best way to get an idea of who is likely to be a good supplier, I think Its always good to get to know your contacts good communication is the key.
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:37 pm

I have little experience of equipment suppliers, I'm the first to admitt that. Materials suppliers are something I tend to chop and change with regards to foams and acrylics etc. Amari is proving to be excellent at present but how long before they become complacent and try to squeeze the price up I don't know.

I do use Spandex for vinyl, mainly because I like Ultramark, and also because I get a good price and service. If any factor changed I'd drop them in a moment though.

I wasn't trying to put a clear divide between service from large and small companies, after all I'm a tiny company myself. But I do still take work away from the bigger ones, often just because I can. It's elements such as Knowledge, Interest, capability, Reliability, Trust Etc. that make me decide who I'm going to deal with. Think that as long as we can't get sued, naming and shaming is one of the best ways to weed out the chancers and wasters in all walks of life.
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 4:22 pm

It's elements such as Knowledge, Interest, capability, Reliability, Trust Etc. that make me decide who I'm going to deal with. Think that as long as we can't get sued, naming and shaming is one of the best ways to weed out the chancers and wasters in all walks of life.

I can certainly agree with that
We’ve used Amari both Bristol and Basildon for years no complaints there, Spandex great quality very friendly bunch at Bristol been there a few times , Ive found Meta mark one of the best for basic materials always been very helpful top quality materials and have always put right mistakes without question, so I suppose its how they deal with problems that’s important and of course UKSB is the best place to find out that sort of info.
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:55 pm

just to quickly add to this guys...

i was speaking with RHG on Thursday morning and actually mentioned nicks/this post. i was told that whatever offer had been given to nick had been accepted and both parties and now happy.

Obviously this whole thing is none of my business and what has went on is not going to be discussed "with me" other than what nick has posted on the boards. but i do know the issue has now been resolved.

I'm not posting here to get involved in the thread, just wanted to mention it because i had asked about it, got an answer, and the thread has now resurfaced, so replied with what i was told. :D
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Post Sun Sep 05, 2010 10:26 pm

Rob,

We had agreed that the laminator be repaired but I was under the impression that the parts were in the UK and would be fitted within a few days. Now the parts are somewhere between China and the UK, they can't tell me for certain when they'll be here or when they'll be fitted - they can't even tell me who is bringing them in order to obtain a tracking number.

So, we have not came to an amicable solution to the problem and I'm a million miles from being happy. We're letting customers down on a daily basis as a result of this machine and the time has come where I need to put our customers first. Maybe if RHG had taken the same view then the whole thing could've been sorted a long time ago.

In this industry we rely on our suppliers pretty heavily. If they let us down then this is poor level of service is often passed onto our own customers. Our customers have been tolerating repeated delays and job cancellations as a direct result of the faulty machine and the length of time the problem has been going on. Ultimately, no matter how hard we try, we're often only as good as our suppliers and if they let us down then it is often us who are left with egg on our faces, grovelling to our customers.

I didn't start this post as a revenge attack on RHG or to influence or speed up their decision. I started it because I wanted feedback from other members, which I'm grateful for, and to notfiy other members of the problem I was having. If RHG and I come to an amicable solution I'll post a reply stating this, similarly if we do not reach a satisfactory conclusion I will update the post accordingly.

Nick.

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