Consumer Guarantees - HN Denying Refund

Hello Everyone,

Seeking expert advice of fellow members. I bought a BOSE SoundTouch 30 Wireless Music System (about ~3 months ago) from Harvey Norman that has capability to directly stream music from Internet Radio stations. Bose used to provide this feature through a service provider called vTuner. All of a sudden, 3 weeks ago they have decided to stop using this provider and instead moved to Tune In as their preferred provider for internet radio.

This essentially meant that the station that I was listening to on my speaker is no longer available to be played directly on my speaker (My Radio station is not available in TuneIn and is only available in vTuner). I run a Internet Radio station myself and the purpose of buying this speaker is to test the streaming quality and to listen for content of my station and provide feedback to the team. This means that the product is now unfit for the purpose. I also bought this speaker after discussing my requirement and after verifying that I am able to listen to my station in the Speaker. Bose had made this change without any prior communication and there are so many other consumers like me who are annoyed with Bose's sudden decision to stop vTuner integration. While Bose calls this update as an upgrade, it has actually affected my usage of the product. Had there been any communication that the provider will be replaced by TuneIn, I wouldn't have purchased it at all as Tune In has stopped adding new stations for a long time now.

I approached Bose and the retailer Harvey Norman explaining my situation and HN has ignored to respond to my enquiry. I called HN and was transferred to a manager who never let me speak or take my problem into his ears and only kept telling it is not his company's problem and he cannot help me.

Am I protected by consumer guarantees or any provision of the law to get a refund of the product? Please advice.

Update: I contacted Harvey Norman contact centre instead of the nearby store and they had in turn contacted the store to accept my return of Bose speaker. I just returned it back to them. I had earlier lodged my concern with ACCC and sent a copy of it to Harvey Norman. Not sure if they accepted to refund out of goodwill or due to the complaint lodged

Related Stores

Harvey Norman
Harvey Norman

Comments

  • +15 votes

    No protection for you in these circumstances. You bought a music system which plays music. 3 months on, it still plays music which is the intended purpose.

    If everytime a company had an update (i.e. IOS 12 has some limitations compared to IOS 11) in which they got rid of certain features or used a different provider, companies would be handing out heaps of refunds.

    My advice - if you can find a use for it, good. If you can't - jump on gumtree, sell it and buy something else.

    • +4 votes

      ^ This 110%.

      Cut your losses and sell it off. Since it's reasonably new you should be able to get a good amount back and use that to buy a different system that supports what you need.

    • +1 vote

      I think OP should get a refund, they advertised it could do something and they they got rid of that feature. Apple get fined all the time for not supporting iPhones long enough and being dodgy with their updates.

      • +1 vote

        If that's the case then OP should pursue the refund through Bose and not HN ;)

      • +1 vote

        I can't believe people are down voting you. What you said is basically the law. But whether it is practical to demand people to uphold the promise is a different issue.

        •  

          Bahahahahahahahaha.

          Yeah, nah.

        •  

          It's really not - the speakers were sold as speakers with internet radio functionality. They are still speakers with internet radio functionality. I sympathise with OP here but they are in the very small minority of users for whom a change in internet radio service provider had any actual impact.

          An analogy would be someone who wanted to sue Google because they removed a third party app from the Android store, meaning the user couldn't use the app and so lost some functionality.

          •  

            @HighAndDry: They sell their radios as listen to a "world of music" with their radio provider being vTuner. You'd expect them to support vTuner for the life of the device which would be a lot more than 3 months considering it is a $800 speaker.

  •  

    https://community.bose.com/t5/SoundTouch-Speakers/11-28-Upda...

    First, we are keeping a list of the channels that you’ve notified us are missing. We are working closely with TuneIn to add those channels to their service where possible… if you have a specific station request, please post it here in this thread.

    Beyond engaging with TuneIn directly, our team is working to add a method for users to add any radio stream URL to SoundTouch and set it as a preset.

  • +1 vote

    $600+ to play internet radio?

    Maybe a cheap/2nd hand phone plugged in the back to test your stream? I'm sure a $50 Telstra cheap-o handset would work?

  • +1 vote

    Is it not possible to downgrade the firmware/rest to factory settings and then turn off automatic updates?

  • -1 vote

    Lol, hardly normal(demand)

  • +1 vote

    Does it connect to to your phone? why can’t you stream the station from your phone to the speaker? I’ve got an old iPhone that I use just as a media player via Bluetooth, I sure this would be a work around until the station is available on Bose.

  •  

    I'd hate to be the HN worker that you approved.

  •  

    Why not ask Bose for refund? They are the one that stuff your music system?
    I don't think unfit for purpose apply to you, it just vTuner not working, but some internet stations are still works?
    HN may refund you, if they find you as an annoying customer, but not part of consumer guarantees.

  • +1 vote

    don’t think HN should be on the hook here

  • +1 vote

    You bought it with a very specific purpose; I don't believe that would entitle you to a refund.
    I also doubt the staff member you discussed with would've been qualified/knowledgeable enough to confirm the specific functionality you wanted.
    You should be able to sell for a fair amount on gumtree/ebay

  • +2 votes

    I also bought this speaker after discussing my requirement and after verifying that I am able to listen to my station in the Speaker.

    At the time of the sale, the system was fit for purpose. Therefore changes made to the goods after the sale shouldn't be HN's problem.

    This sort of technology does change all the time, no doubt Bose would have covered that point off as well.

  •  

    I'm not sure, I get that everyone says its not HNs problem, but I don't know how correct it is, maybe its purely Boses problem? I remember hearing similar with the PS3, essentially they sold the device with access to OtherOS (linux), but then changed it part way through so that you can no longer install it. They originally won the first court, but then they got hit again I think for breach of warranty, false advertising and others and ended up settling.

    https://www.polygon.com/2016/10/12/13261780/ps3-otheros-linu...

    The thing is though I don't know if this becomes Boses problem or HNs, part of me thinks its HNs problem since its not fit for purpose anymore, and then HN has to claim from Bose. But HN are franchises I think? Which I think is why I hear quite a lot of times with refund issues (even ones that are more black and white then this).

    •  

      Australia != USA.

      After reading about it more, I am actually sympathetic to OP's situation - Bose apparently changed internet radio operators/providers because the new one is cheaper (or gives more kickbacks) than the other, but also far worse in the services provided. It's actually pretty egregious. But legally I'm not sure how the consumers stand, because the physical unit is still the same and arguably operates the same - it still has access to internet radio.

      Is losing access to a small percentage of all internet radio stations sufficient to be classed as a defect?

      (To be clear though, if it is, it's definitely HN as the retailer who's responsible under the ACL, even if they did nothing wrong.)

      •  

        haha true they're not, part of the lawsuit was false advertising as well (in the US) so I do wonder if thats another angle (it was advertised for one service and then switched to another within ACL period?) I also wonder if our laws are stricter here then the US. But then again, I'm unsure if OP wants to start a class action lawsuit against Bose haha

        (Also OP, is the change due to the app itself no longer showing it? I wonder if you can install an older version as a work around if all else fails or if there's other work arounds online, but all depends on how it all works I guess).

  •  

    Ask bose to flash it back to the firmware that worked, or usb and load it yourself… Is it really that hard?

  •  

    I suspect you have a case against HN if you want to take the trouble to take it to small claims. Fairly easy to do and will likely to get a reply from HN at least. Good Luck.