Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods Laws

7 Common fob offs that companies use to not give refunds!

Many companies and individuals will try and fob you off in order not to give you a refund or redress. Below are some common ones of which you should be aware and know how to deal with.

Know the rules

“We do not give refunds”

Signs like this are illegal and you can report them to Trading Standards. Traders do not have to give you a refund if you have simply changed your mind about a purchase or the jumper didn’t fit for example, but if the item is faulty you are legally entitled to a full refund, (unless the fault was pointed out at time of purchase) until the time that you are deemed to have “accepted” the goods. “Accepted” is generally thought to be up to 4 weeks after that you are still entitled to a replacement or repair. If you put up a fight though you’ll usually get a refund, I always have!

“You/we will send it back to the manufacturer

Your contract is always with whoever received your money. If you buy a kettle from store A which was made by company B and that kettle stops working you are entitled to the repair, refund or replacement from company A.

This is a classic fob off often used by the likes of Curry’s. Renowned for trying to sell unnecessary warranties and denying people their consumer rights for many years.

“You will need to contact the delivery firm”

That kettle you bought from store A was delivered to your house and the delivery driver dropped it, or left it on the doorstep and it was stolen. Store A is wrong to tell you to contact the delivery firm. Your contract is with store A and you claim your refund from it. It can claim from the delivery firm! More here.

“You should have taken out a warranty”

Warranties are rarely worth the paper they are written on in my opinion! Items should last a reasonable length of time, a washing machine should last more than 6 months so it is wholly irrelevant whether you have taken out a warranty. So, even if your washing machine is a few years old you can still get that free repair or replacement.

Currys is a big culprit for this.
story post from LI about standing in Currys demanding replacement laptop


More on What is a warranty, a guarantee and my consumer rights?

“We don’t take back items bought in the sale”

Unless the fault was pointed out at time of purchase (and therefore contributed to the sale price) your legal rights remain the same as if the item was sold at full price.

“You caused the fault

If an item breaks up to 6 months from purchase then it is up to the trader to prove that the fault was caused by you and was not there at time of purchase and therefore you are legally entitled to the full refund, repair or replacement.

If you reject the item within 30 days you need to prove fault was there at point of purchase and are entitled to a full refund. After this time the above applies for a repair or replacement.

“You don’t have the receipt so we can’t give a refund”

The law states proof of purchase so this could be a credit card bill, easier to find online now than an old receipt.

“It is over 6 months so we do not need to give a refund”

As a general rule this is correct. You are entitled to a repair or replacement 30 days after the point of purchase. But if you can still prove that the fault was there at point of purchase and/or the item has not lasted ‘a reasonable length of time’ then you can and should get a replacement or free repair if not the refund. More at The Consumer Rights Act 2015.

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


For help with consumer laws, tips, information and template letters GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!




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By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

12 replies on “7 Common fob offs that companies use to not give refunds!”

l booked a trip to Manchester United ground with cruise straight from my hotel being disabled l thought it would be the best way l traveled down from the westmidlands for to be told they had given me the wrong time on their booking site so l had to make my own way there from hotel this coursed a lot of pain l got their they gave me a refund but had to pay again for tour this was booked for son’s 16th it was just the 2of us it spoiled the hole tour has l was in a lot of pain but couldn’t so my son l didn’t want to spoil itfor him l got back home and complained straight away they just appolgiesd and they have change their times on site it spoiled the experience l could of cryed they don’t seem bothered

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