Do I have a case for the small claims court?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Manonabike, 17 Aug 2012.

  1. Manonabike

    Manonabike Über Member

    Nothing to do with cycling I'm glad to say :smile:

    I got this watch repair place to install a new battery in my watch, The watch worked well for a week until I went swimming - it never occurred to me that there would be a problem...... I've had the battery replaced twice before without any issues.

    I took the watch back to the shop and the man said "we don't guarantee against water proofing" and pointed me to a sign on a stand which I never saw in the first place.

    The cost of fixing the watch is £150.

    The watch was a gift so it has sentimental value to me, having said that, it would cost about £300 to replace the watch for a very similar one.

    The thing is that had I been told that there was any risk at all of having a problem later on I would have said "thanks very much" and found a differently place, but there was no verbal warning.

    Do I have a case for the small claims court? Or it would be very hard to prove bad workmanship
  2. Pauluk

    Pauluk Senior Member

    The jeweler I use informed me quite clearly that the only way to preserve the waterproof capability after battery replacement would be to send the watch back to the manufacturer and it would cost £80. I didn't bother and he changed the battery and put some silicon grease around the O ring.

    I don't think I would bother to make a claim buts that's me. You may be successful as I would argue that a sign somewhere in the shop is not enough in terms of a disclaimer, you should have been warned more clearly.
  3. MrJamie

    MrJamie Oaf on a Bike

    When I got my watch battery replaced the last two times, the guy warned me both times that it would no longer be waterproof and id have to send it back to the manufacturer to have the seal done. It was an odd conversation probably fuelled by legal concerns, where the watch guy refused to comment on how non-waterproof it would be. I was curious if i should be taking it off to wash my hands or if it rained but he refused to say anything other than its no longer sealed or waterproof. I presume it must be a very common complaint in that business.

    I dont think I would bother either unless you find out from someone that you have a very strong case.
  4. Piemaster

    Piemaster Guru

    UK City of Culture
    I've always had similar warnings that the watch will no longer be waterproof when I've had batteries changed
  5. Drago

    Drago Guru

    If you went in and simply asked for a specific service, in this case a new battery, there's no lawful obligation on them to advise you of the consequences, so I do not believe you have a claim. Unless you can prove that on the balance of probabilities they unreasonably damaged or wrongly refitted the seal then you have no redress.

    I got a mid priced Tag and every few years I pay the £80 to have it services, new seals, battery etc.
  6. OP

    Manonabike Über Member

    Well, the two previous times I had the battery replaced there was no warnings. I went to see them to see if I got lucky when they did it...... it turns out that they put the watch in a machine to test it and if it fails they change the seal, etc. They only charge £3.50 more than I paid the other guy to do the job with no warranty.

    It really annoys me that this guy can do the same thing time and time again and nobody will say "hey, you just can't say sorry but I never said the watch would still be waterproof after the battery replacement" and get away with it.

    From the way he treated me I got the feeling he does this quite a few times a year. He wasn't even apologetic and made me feel like it was my fault for not spotting the sign.
  7. OP

    Manonabike Über Member

    I had always used these people they are very good and they only charge less than a tenner for a new battery - they waterproof the watch too (they never said anything to me, just did the job :smile: ) so when I left my watch in the other place I had no reason to suspect anything.
    asterix likes this.
  8. Rezillo

    Rezillo TwoSheds

    Usually the watch instructions (well, the ones I've had anyway) make it clear that battery replacement will not make it waterproof anymore unless returned to the manufacturer. This seems to be because a new seal is needed, although the first one or two times you might get away with it before the old seal fails altogether.

  9. Raging Squirrel

    Raging Squirrel Well-Known Member

    North West
    In all fairness, how many people read the watch instructions unless it's got a million functions? I'd be pissed off too and would demand he cover the cost of sending it to the manufacturer for sealing seeing as he failed in his duty of care to let his customer know the circumstances. If he refused I'd blag it and say you'd be having a word with your sisters husband who just happens to work for the local paper and see if he can write an article to name and shame bad customer service. I bet that'd sort it out lol
  10. Stephen brown

    Stephen brown Well-Known Member

    We warn people every time we change a battery, generally it will be fine but every now and then we get one that leaks so we make it very clear

    Once the manufacturers guarantee has expired there is no water resistance guarantee unless it's tested and generally at this point the watch requires new back seals, button seals and in some cases new glass seal or even replacement glass

    Also something to Remember, generally a 50m watch is not recommended for swimming although there are some exceptions (Longines are one) most watches need to be 100m or more for swimming
  11. Stephen brown

    Stephen brown Well-Known Member's early (won't let me edit)

    Generally 30m is not recommended for swimming and a minimum of 50m is required with the odd exception (Longines being one)
  12. asterix

    asterix Comrade Member

    Limoges or York
    This is what you need:

  13. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Next time go to Timpsons. They will replace the battery and pressure test the watch for waterproofness for you. You can also buy a good deal off them where they will replace batteries for life for a one off charge. I always have them do my watch - much better than spending a week having it sent off to the manufacturers - and I go diving in my watch. Also don't be fooled by the waterproofness standards some watches have. A 200m rating does not mean you can dive to 200m with it. 30m means proof against accidental splashes, 50m means swimming and 100/200m means snorkelling.
  14. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    Well you learn something new every day.

    I'll tell my son he needs to buy a 50m certificated mobile phone so that the next time he goes swimming with one in his pocket it won't end in tears.
    classic33 likes this.
  15. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    Not a hope in hell of taking the battery man to the Small Claims Court. Anyway even if you won £150 off him, the court fees would gobble all of that and more.

    I get my batteries changed in the high street places; last time I forgot to remove my watch for swimming and then looked down and saw that it had filled with moisture thanks to the chilling effect of the pool causing a vacuum (same reason why 4x4 axles and gearboxes need breather tubes) I went up to my hotel room, opened the back, took out the action and soaked up the droplets with tissue then dried it all with the hotel hairdryer. It was fine.
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