Defective watch and poor service - advice required
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  1. #1
    IanP
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    Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    Dear all,

    I purchased a new automatic watch from one of the well-known online retailers in the Far East in June this year.

    The watch soon developed a fault, namely completely stopping after a few hours.

    I returned it to the seller who serviced it and returned it FOC. However, the same problem recurred a short while later and again, the watch was repaired free of charge by the seller.

    It's now playing up again, for the third time in less than six months. I've emailed the seller who again suggests I return it for servicing.

    I'm not happy with this offer, informing the seller I'd prefer an exchange or refund. I'm not sure where I stand legally but consider I have a good case morally for either option, in the interests of good customer relations if nothing else.

    The watch is a $150 automatic with an ETA movement. I have plenty of experience with automatic watches, have never physically abused the watch (I keep it as a dress watch) and have kept it in a watch wnder when I've not worn it.

    I last emailed the seller on 4 December but haven't heard anything since. I'd rather not "name and shame" until they've had a chance to get back to me but will PM details to anyone who's interested.

    Perhaps I could have the benefit of your advice in the meantime?

    Thanks in anticipation,
    Ian

  2. #2
    beshannon
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    About the only advice I have is after getting it fixed, don't put it on the winder.

    Just my personal experience I have a watch that I had on a winder and it would never seem to run properly, eventually stopping like yours.

    Coincidence? Perhaps, but after getting my watch serviced, it did not go back on the winder and has been perfect for 3 years.

    As for an exchange afer 6 months, I doubt they will accomodate you.

  3. #3
    Member Chev James's Avatar
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    I have four Omegas on winders, and all are keeping great time with no problems . . . but as for the watch that is having problems, it's time for a refund. After you've sent something back twice for repairs, the third time should be the charm . . . because it's obvious that the watch just wasn't put together that well. There is a problem with tolerances somewhere in the mechanism, or something is just out of alignment.

    I would "negotiate" with the retailer thus: Ask him if they stand behind their products. He should say yes. Then tell him that you've sent this watch back multiple times, and it still stops. Ask him how many times you should have to send back a watch. Tell him you think that two times should be the absolute limit, and the third time the dealer needs to take appropriate action to replace the watch or refund your money. Personally, I'd go for the refund.

    Most States' "lemon laws" allow you to take back a car after it's been to the dealer three times for the same problem. I think that should apply to watches, as well!

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  5. #4
    IanP
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    Thanks to both of you.

    I have a number of other autos ranging from cheap and cheerful Seiko 5s to $500 watches and none of them have given me problems.

    The problems with the watch in question first appeared when I left it on my bedside table overnight, having worn it all day. It also stopped both when left in a winder and when worn continuously (apart from showering and the like) so I doubt the winder is causing the problem.

    I'll wait a few more days to hear from the seller and play it by ear. I'll certainly adopt Beshannon's apporach if they're not more co-operative.

    Incidentally, it must be costing the seller (as well as me) a fair bit in time and trouble to keep repairing the watch. You'd think they'd be kene to resolve the matter ASAP.

  6. #5
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    For as long as the manufacturer is honoring the terms of the warranty that came with your watch, there is nothing else you can do. I suggest you take the time (If you already haven't done so) and become familiarized with the terms of the warranty. If you bought the watch from Singapore, et al, the watch has an international warranty and certain local consumer laws may or may not have any effect on it.

    While the seller/manufacturer may not have a legal obligation to replace the watch or issue a refund, they may still have a "moral" obligation to do so, but again, that is not legally enforceable. But the problem, you bought this watch from overseas with an international warranty and for as long as they keep fixing it under the terms of such warranty, you will have very little recourse as there is no breach of warranty. They are honoring it as best they can.

    This a reason why I prefer to buy watches with warranties that are fully enforced by US and State consumer laws.

    Good luck.

  7. #6
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    Sounds like the watch is not getting wound. Try winding it and don't use the winder. Not all watches wind efficiently on a winder. For $150 it is not an Omega. Don't expect it to react like one.

  8. #7
    Member TheWalrus's Avatar
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    I would suggest an entirely disproportionate response. Such as going to their storefront / warehouse and chaining yourself to the doors until they acknowledge their offences against you and provide you with suitable reparations. Make sure you have a good chant ready such as "Hey, Hey (insert company name), how many broken watches have you sold today?" Also placards. When the cops come prostrate yourself on the ground and make them carry you away after tear gassing you.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    OK, OP, you bought a $150 watch containing an Automatic ETA movement from the Far East.
    The movement has now stopped working for the third time.

    Are you sure it is a real ETA and not a fake ETA ?
    have a lokal watchmaker have a quick look, he will tell you!
    If real ETA - send it back for repair.
    If fake ETA - demand money back

  10. #9
    Member Foxglove's Avatar
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne View Post
    OK, OP, you bought a $150 watch containing an Automatic ETA movement from the Far East.
    The movement has now stopped working for the third time.

    Are you sure it is a real ETA and not a fake ETA ?
    have a lokal watchmaker have a quick look, he will tell you!
    If real ETA - send it back for repair.
    If fake ETA - demand money back
    that's pretty much what I was thinking too. $150 is extremely low, but possibly could be a real eta. I would get it checked (or just look at it yourself).

    2nd time = refund; 3rd time = refund and lost customer for life.

    Demand a refund. If it's not too late, depending on how you paid, you could get your money back from your credit card company - pursuant to your CC company's terms.

    ~Ross

  11. #10
    IanP
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    Re: Defective watch and poor service - advice required

    I beleive the watch has an ETA 2846 movement. Not a top-notch one I accept but it shouldn't be playing up like this. It was sold by a reputable online dealer I've bought a couple watches from in the past without incident.

    drster: I fully accpet it isn't an Omega. On the other hand, I've owned a number of Seiko 5 autos over the years which have performed flawlessly. I therefore fail to see why an inexpensive movement shouldn't be reliable, even if it's not as accurate or well-finished as a dearer one.

    I'm reluctant to open the watch to look at the movement in case the seller claims that invalidates any warranty.

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