The Bristol Post reports a trader who was taken to court by Trading Standards says that he has a “decent” record and said the vast majority of his customers are happy with his service.
Chris Robbins, who sells reconditioned appliances including washing machines and tumble dryers, is reported by the Bristol Post to be the first person in Bristol to have an order made against him under the Enterprise Act 2002.
Trading Standards (TS) is reported to have received more than 70 complaints against Mr Robbins since 2010.
TS took him to the county court after customers complained the goods he sold them either did not work, were faulty, were not as described or that he failed give the legal cancellation period or honour the terms of a warranty.
Mr Robbins has disputed some of the allegations.
He said: “I have been in the business for 30 years and have been recognised as a highly-experienced technician in both domestic and commercial appliances.
“I am aware that due to the volume of sales that we are bound to get some complaints and the majority of those complaints are dealt with swiftly and easily.
“Each and every machine is cleaned, tested and PAT tested before leaving my workshop and if they don’t work then we don’t send them out .
“I have sold about 3,500 appliances and with only 30 complaints registered, this is less than one per cent so my business has a decent record.
“Most of the complaints are due to consumer misuse i.e. not cleaning the pockets out and causing foreign objects to damage the machine, or even breaking doors off then phoning trading standards because I won’t repair them under terms of warranty.
“Once a consumer complains it’s registered even if it’s the consumer’s own fault, which happens many times in my business.
“I enjoy what I do and there is a certain amount of satisfaction in supplying good quality machines to many families that do not have much funding available.
“I do my utmost to keep the customers happy, working very late evenings and weekends including Sundays to help them out so that they do not need to take time off work.
“I have written to the trading standards to actually ask them to work more closely with me, so any future problems can be dealt with swiftly and easily.”
Mr Robbins trades as Affordable Appliances and is a director of Appliance Recycling Project Ltd, based on Ilminster Avenue, Knowle West.
TS say they have received more than double the amount of complaints Mr Robbins mentioned – 69 between 2010 and the prevention order being granted in December.
That order states that Mr Robbins, or anyone working with him, must not breach contracts by misleadingly describing the appliances he sells, or sell appliances that are not of “satisfactory quality”.
He must also give consumers a correct notice about their rights to cancel the contract and must not fail to tell them that he is working as a business, not an individual.
Failure to obey the court order is likely to result in a fine, or possibly a custodial sentence and Trading Standards will continue to monitor his compliance.
Mr Robbins was ordered to pay the city council’s costs of about £7,000.
Alexis Sycamore, fair trading officer for the council, said: “All of the complainants lost money on appliances that weren’t as described, faulty or never worked.”
Please note that Affordable Appliances run by Mr Robbins has no connection with Affordable Appliances and Repairs Limited, based in Snowdon Road, Fishponds.