BY JACKIE KEOGH
A WEST Cork judge has criticised one of Europe’s largest electrical retailers, claiming it has ‘abused its economic power’.
Judge James McNulty made the comment after he awarded Mary Robinson of Ahakista, Bantry £724 – which amounted to the cost of her faulty laptop – plus the €200 out of pocket expenses that were offered by DSG Retail Ltd, trading as Curry’s PC World, and DSG Ireland Ltd.
Judge McNulty said: ‘This humble small claims court in West Cork wishes to place on record its disapproval of the conduct of the defendant in this matter.’ He said retailers who value the business of their customers adopt the approach that ‘the customer is always right.’ But, in this instance, he said the respondent acted as if ‘the customer couldn’t possibly be right.’
He pointed out that the claimant had spent more than 30 years in the IT industry in the UK before coming to live in West Cork and to lead her on ‘an endless email merry-go-round’ – which amounted to a 120-page print out – when the laptop they sold her was not of merchantable quality, and not fit for purpose, was ‘deplorable.’
The judge pointed out that it was almost one year to the day since the problem came to light and that ‘the proper response ... would have been to accept graciously that the customer might indeed be right and then, as a matter of fairness, and to preserve the customer’s goodwill, arrange the refund.’ But, he added: ‘It seems DSG was more interested in retaining her money than retaining her goodwill.’