This is a guest post from Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow, who is a consumer rights campaigner, blogger and Amazon best selling author. She believes passionately in everyone asserting their legal rights and fighting companies who try and pull a fast one.
Here she shares six ways you can ensure you aren’t fobbed off when you have a faulty item or receive poor service.
These are tactics that retailers use to not deal with the situation themselves and ways in which you can use your own rights to get the service you are owed.
First of all imagine this scenario, which has probably happened to quite a few of you: something goes wrong with an in item you have bought, let’s say a TV, and you’ve had it over a year.
You try and take it back to the retailer and they say you should have bought a warranty so you are left with having to pay a repair.
Is this right? NO!
State that under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 (the update to Sale of Goods Act 1979) you are entitled to items that last a reasonable length of time. Just over a year is not a reasonable length of time and therefore you are entitled to a full refund, repair or replacement. (As the item is over a few weeks old the company can refuse a refund it cannot however refuse a replacement or repair).
That same TV? The retailer says you’ll have to send it back to the manufacturer at your cost.
The answer: WRONG!
Under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 your contract is always with the company to whom you gave money. So it is the retailer who is responsible for giving you the redress.
That same TV? The fault is that occasionally the remote doesn’t work. The retailer says it is common that remotes go and the TV still works.
Now what? Don’t accept this!
Under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 you are entitled to items that are fit for purpose and are of satisfactory quality and last a reasonable length of time. Just over a year is not a reasonable length of time.
Six months previously the retailer delivered the TV but it didn’t turn up. When you contact the retailer they said you had to contact the delivery firm, Model. You did contact Model and spent days and days trying to sort it out. There was loads of phone calls and confusion as they mislaid the tracking information.
Should you have made all these calls? Nope.
Your contract is always with the retailer to whom you gave the money. Contact them and assert your legal rights and what you want to happen.
You get your refund and buy a TV online. When you receive it, you change your mind and decide you don’t want it. The firm says it won’t give you a refund.
Will you get your money back? YES!
Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you have 14 days to change your mind. You may have to pay return postage depending on their terms and conditions.
Then you buy another TV from a different online retailer (not having much luck with your TVs are you?!) and this time it doesn’t work. The retailer expects you to pay the return postage quoting its terms and conditions that customers must pay return postage on returned goods.
So, are you going to pay? Don’t!
When the item breaches the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 for any reason then you do not have to pay the return postage.
Now maybe you won’t be so unlucky to face so many difficulties with the same TV but these six issues are some of the things that retailers will do to not deal with the situation themselves. Remember that you have rights and even if you don’t like having to make a complaint, you are well within your rights to do so!
As well as a consumer right champion and blogger, The Complaining Cow is also Amazon best selling author of the book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress & Results!
Ricky Willis is the original Skint Dad. A money-making enthusiast, father, and husband to Naomi. He is always looking for unique ways to earn a little extra.