How to complain about an item over a year old

Note – This is an old post. For purchases made before October 1st 2015 please see Consumer Rights Act 2015.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979/Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994
Generally speaking if the item is less than 6 months old and the item is faulty then the consumer should receive a full refund (minus any depreciation of value of use, e.g. a car used for 4 months has had some use and will have depreciated in value) a replacement or a repair. After 6 months it is up to the customer to prove that the fault was there at point of purchase. However, only take this as a guideline. When my son said that we should complain and take something back to a pound shop, even I drew the line! But there are cases when you can and should claim redress after 6 months. (More on laws protecting you from faulty purchases here.)

A faulty sofa
Damaged sofaA friend of mine had bought a sofa over a year ago from a mail order company, Studio. It was clearly faulty and she was having difficulty getting a full refund. I took to writing an email for the CEO. I stated that there were 2 really sharp metal rods (thin ones) poking through out of the fabric, so when hands are put down the middle bit of the sofa it really hurts, obviously. Karen had only done this once now knowing it is was there, however, the item is clearly faulty and she has very young children to consider. Originally she was told that because she had had the bed more than a year there was nothing that could be done. However, once this was checked further (with one assumes, the legal department) she was told that it would have to go to quality control. Karen was promised a call back that never came and she had to chase it up and get a form to fill in and request to send photos of the issue which she did. The proof of postage for this was available. Again she had to chase and ‘phone again to be told that her letter had not arrived. Since then a leg has literally snapped off when she sat on the end causing her to fall. It was now obviously not level.

The sofa was clearly faulty and under the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 she was entitled to a full refund. It was easily proven that the fault was there from the start and so the fact that she had had this item for over a year is irrelevant. In addition to the full refund I expected them to arrange for removal of the sofa and provide redress for the inconvenience caused, not least the damage to Karen’s hand, the time spent on the matter and the stress involved. Karen had not been able to use the sofa bed and so also expected redress for this particularly in light of Studio’s delayed and non-existent responses pro longing the matter.

I added my usual see you in court line if not satisfied with the response…

Result
Karen received a replacement (which is what she wanted) plus £50.

You should persevere when met with fob offs and of course more help and templates for this sort of thing in the book. 🙂

This entry was posted in Complaining, Complaints gaining redress and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to complain about an item over a year old

  1. Wow. You still can complain about an item that long?

  2. Joanna says:

    I bought Apple Mac for nearly £2k but screen goes black and it doesn’t start. This fault is intermittent and equipment was sent three times to the service. Less than a week later the same fault appeared again. Apple refused replacement or refund. Mac is still under Apple warranty. How many more times do I have to send it back to incompetent Apple service?? It means lots of stress, loss of time calling their ‘care service’ for hours on end, waiting all day for a courier to show up, and again for courier to drop it off. I feel Apple just fobs me off as equipment is over a year old. At this rete I will have to take it higher! It cost so much I cannot just let it go

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *