Ask Susan: Tent trouble

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Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Q: Last year, we bought an Equinox Tent from FCO in New Plymouth for $899. We used the tent for six nights. This year, we camped again and on about the sixth night a storm came through the campsite and ours was the only tent that was felled. We understand all tents have a non-replacement policy if there is damage due to high winds. The issue is that of the four big knuckles that the poles insert into to keep the tent up, two of them completely shattered. This in turn ripped the tent and some of the windows. We contacted an insurance broker who told us we needed to go back to FCO, as the insurance company would consider the issue "product failure". FCO pretty much told us it was our fault. I believe a tent that has been used 12 times and has been quoted as being one of the best tents on the market should have withstood the wind. What can we do? - Kirsten and Dean, New Plymouth

A: I contacted FCO and was told they didn't want to comment. But I gather someone has been in touch since and is taking a more positive approach to negotiating a resolution. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says you probably have some rights under the Consumer Guarantees Act, providing you weren't misusing the tent.

A spokesman said if other tents were still standing and you'd used the tent just a handful of times, and correctly each time, it may have breached the guarantee of acceptable quality. "It is up to the parties involved to resolve disputes. If they can't they can go to the Disputes Tribunal."

- NZ Herald

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