Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do

Many people have what some of us might consider as dodgy tumble dryers and have asked what they should do if they think they are affected and how long is reasonable to wait. Please read this post before asking what you should do, the answers are here!

So what is going on?

Current situation
1) 113 different Hotpoint, Indesit or Creda tumble dryers have been recalled. However, it is not a full recall in that all machines are being replaced. The machines affected were manufactured between April 2004 and September 2015. Dryers affected could pose a fire risk if fluff should come into contact with the heating element. 750 fires involving Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers have been reported since 2004, including three injuries. Update 12th March 2017 On the 23rd February Whirlpool has now amended advice and says to unplug and not use machine. It has still stopped short of a full recall. New advice.

2) Despite the potential risk, Whirpool has said the dryers are safe to use following precautions, such as not leaving the tumble dryer on when asleep, not leaving the house when it is on, cleaning the lint filter after every use, and  ensure proper venting

3) Whirpool will send an engineer to check your tumble dryer and have said it will be a 6 – 8 week wait, alternatively they are telling some people that they have to wait until June because they are still recruiting engineers! Update in March now saying 3 weeks to get a call back and wait could be up to 10 months! Given how long everyone involved in this fiasco has known about the issues this is not good enough and in my humble opinion not a good enough reason for delay should you take the matter to court.

4) Trading Standards calls for a full product recall before someone dies.

5) As of end February 2017 Whirlpool has finally changed its advice and said unplug and do not use.

What you should do if you think you are affected
1) If your tumble dryer is not affected there will be a green dot sticker insider the dryer either on the door, rim or back panel. Look for a green dot sticker inside the dryer either on the door itself or on the rim.

2) You may want to not use your tumble dryer despite Whirpool’s advice. After all, do you think it’s ok if it catches fire just because you are in the house?! I don’t!

3) Check to see if your appliances are affected. Hotpoint and Creda tumble dryers can be checked on the safety.hotpoint.eu website and Indesit ones here safety.indesit.eu Which? also uncovered the models affected and you can find the list here.

4) Contact the company and arrange for your service. Log all your calls, length or time on the phone and costs involved as you are due redress for this.

5) People are really struggling when ‘phoning to get the service sorted. I would advise putting your request in writing see here for why.

6) Check with your insurance company as to whether you are covered if your tumble dryer were to catch fire even if you were following the guidelines about sill being able to use it. If not, then use this information in your complaint/claim. Although, please also see point 6 below!

Your rights and what you can do if not happy with your situation
1) The affected tumble dryers were manufactured before October 1st 2015 and therefore, if bought prior to October 1st 2015 are covered by the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. You are entitled to purchases that are fit for purpose and are of satisfactory quality. Whilst I agree that for you to be covered by this law, you should follow maintenance guidelines in the handbook, you should be able to put the machine on like you would a washing machine and dishwasher when you are asleep or out of the house! The affected tumble dryers are therefore not fit for purpose and not of satisfactory quality. Any products bought after 1st October 2015 are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

2) Under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 or Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to a refund, repair or replacement. the company can legitimately charge you something towards a new machine as it can deduct an amount for use (after 6 months in the case of the CRA). You can argue how much this should be because if they are charging £99 for a replacement to a family of 4 who have used it for 3 years they should not be able to charge the same for a single person who has had the machine for a year! Some months have now gone by and you will only be entitled to a repair or replacement. The company says it will “modify” the appliance, so one assumes that this is the repair. Some people are getting a free replacement when they assert their legal rights and what they expect!

3) If you stop using the machine because you deem it unsafe (and if the engineer carries out modifications then there is your proof that it was!) you are entitled to your out of pocket expenses. So if you go to the launderette for example, you are entitled to these costs plus cost of going there e.g. public transport/petrol. Update 12th March 2017 Whirlpool have now said unplug and do not use the machine.

4) Do not waste much time ranting on social media. The social media teams will be dealing social media simples! So many people are affected that you will be one of many and your case will not rise above another unless you get lucky. A few people have been lucky this way, most haven’t.

5) If you think the time to wait is too long, or you have been kept waiting longer than they advised or you want to claim, then go straight to the top. Go to ceoemail.com and contact the CEO outlining the issues and use the Tips for effective complaining here and the bestselling book which has more advice and templates here. State that you want a replacement or engineer appointment brought forward.

6) The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that if you are harmed by an unsafe product you can sue the manufacturer. You can begin your court case up to three years from the date of the injury. In some cases, you can even sue up to ten years after the product was sold. If for instance you sustain a personal injury or damage to your property. The value of the damage must be more than £275.

7) Your contract normally is with the company to whom you paid the money; however, as the manufacturer has admitted fault your correspondence should be with them as in this case the manufacturer is responsible not the trader. But you could also contact the retailer and request a replacement or repair, you may find that a good retailer will also act on your behalf and get your engineer out to you quicker, or offer a refund. If you find the retailer unhelpful you can also go to the Furniture Ombudsman if the retailer is a member.

8) The “General Product Safety Regulations 2005” dictates that manufacturers must make arrangements for the collection and/or return of the product for destruction from consumers who have purchased the product.

9) See Tips for how to write that complaint and many others: How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! for more help advice, templates for complaining effectively.

10) If you bought the dryer on your credit card you can also use the Consumer Credit Act 1974 Section 75 as it is equally liable and it should give you a refund.

11) If you are given a replacement machine or parts that develop a fault your rights remain and see 2 and 3 above. Remember consumer rights always override a warranty.

Update – ITV This Morning spoke to Whirpool MD. Alice Beer and Phillip Schofield do a great job, he doesn’t really! See here for the interview. I particularly Phillip’s last comment after the interview regarding Lord Adonis!

BBC article 11/03/16 Danger dryers in 11-month repair wait

share the message and help others assert their legal rights over this issue too.

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133 Responses to Dodgy tumble dryers – your legal rights & what to do

  1. Mandy Crow says:

    Just had my new tumble dryer delivered (saturday) paid £99 rather than having old one modified. New one is dead does not work rang hotpoint and they sending engineer out. Surly I can have it replaced as its brand new? Do I have to have it repaired???

  2. Jason Williams says:

    I had a new replacement dryer in Dec 2015 for my old hotpoint dryer and now it has broken. The 1 year warranty ran out in Dec 2016, do I have any other options available?

    Thanks

  3. Shirley says:

    My tumble dryer was one identified as ‘faulty’. Had it just over a year. Engineer came out to do the modification 2 weeks ago. Ever since then it does not dry anything properly. Clothes are damp even after 2 hours…and that is just a half load. I have Dom Gen warranty. What csn I do?

  4. lorraine mackinnon says:

    I had the repair done and was told at the time that I would get a years warranty for the dryer, now the dryer does not dry, phoned indesit and was told that only the part fitted had a 3month warranty. Where do i stand with regards to getting dryer fixed.

  5. Jeff Fagan says:

    I am also having a battle with Hotpoint and I would like to pint out that there is a government petition which I do not believe requires further explanation
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/169835/signatures/new
    Please visit

  6. JANET MELLOR says:

    I ALSO PURCHASED A HOTPOINT TUMBLE DRYER MARCH 2016. I CHOSE TO
    HAVE A NEW ONE FOR £99 BUT HAVE ASKED THE QUESTION WHY THESE
    DRYERS WERE STILL BEING SOLD AFTER THE RECALL DATE. MY OLD DRYER WAS STILL IN WARRENTY SO HAVE TRIED TO GET MY £99 BACK BUT THEY HAVE REFUSED. I HAVE EVEN SENT MY REQUEST TO THREE DIRECTORS WHO HAVE NOT EVEN RELIED. NOT SURE WERE TO GO FROM HERE

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      Please see post and links above. Also see tips – don’t write your email/letter in capitals.

  7. Karen Little says:

    I have had a walk letter on my old tumble drier, I actually threw mine away as it broke down and was just over warranty and now I find out it is faulty! So am a bit annoyed as I had to buy new one, never called them as most products out of warranty it’s cheaper to just buy a new one, can I ask for a replacement or refund on this as I really didn’t get much use out of it.. where do I stand on this ?

  8. susan says:

    My Swan dryer was covered by the recall they came to modify it on september 26th last year i followed all the rules and cleaned the filter after each use never left it on at night or when out which was lucky for me because 29th april just 10 minitues after putting it on it burst into flames luckily i was not alone as i have health problems . the fire brigade were called my house is filthy from smoke damage thst is taking days to clean up !!! these machines neef replacing NOT modifying the modification did not make mine safe .and when i rang to complain she said they will send an engineet out to look at it im now without a dryer !!!

  9. In and says:

    My dryer which i brought brand new in Feb started to smell funny and made funny sounds it now has stopped heating up but there appears to be burnt fluff at the back on the floor, checked online and just found out mine is one of the affected dryers HOW was it allowed to still be sold with no information on this issue? I’m a single working mum of 2 with no drier and a house that smells of a burning ???? Something

  10. Tom Ball says:

    I have a faulty Hotpoint tumble dryer. I have been in touch via e-mail to Hotpoint, threatening to go to the small claims court, as I do not want it modifying, or to pay £99 for a replacement, from which I have heard even those do not work. Going around in circles, getting nowhere. Where can i go from here? Any direct phone numbers? Thanks.

  11. Rachel says:

    I have a Hotpoint Aquarius tumble dryer bought in 2002 & is in my British Gas repair/insurance contract – it has started to make a grinding noise, so called out an engineer (unfortunately I could not be here, so my neighbour was here instead) – the engineer said it was a manufacturer fault – so I have been on the Hotpoint website to enter the model number & serial number – which the site does not recognise ! I thought the modification programme only applied to dryers bought after 2004 ? Does this mean British Gas are trying to avoid a repair ?

    • The Complaining Cow says:

      If you have had a tumble dryer that has lasted 15 years without any problem lucky you! If not on the site then it isn’t one of the affected models so is not part of the partial recall programme. If you want to try and claim (nothing to do with the issues in the post as it is prior and a non affected model and a different fault!) then you would need an independent report saying that it was a manufacturers fault but hard to believe because if so why has it lasted this long? You can try but under consumer law an item has to last a reasonable length of time and your tumble dryer has done this and some. Small Claims Court would be for 6 years so don’t threaten that as you will get nowhere as Manufacturer knows this and a court will say lasted reasonable length of time in any case.

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