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Complaining about faulty goods Laws

7 consumer rights misconceptions (and what they are really)

What are your consumer rights?

One hears it often “I know my rights” But do you? Here are the most common misconceptions.

Do you really know your consumer rights?

Consumer rights misconceptions list of headings

1) I received the wrong item, unsolicited goods I can keep them!

No, you can’t.  See  All you need to know about unsolicited goods. I actually stopped comments on this post because despite it clearly stating all the things that are not unsolicited good people were desperate for me to tell them that their case was different! Only one example was unsolicited and that was an item from Estonia! If you have received an item by mistake it is NOT unsolicited goods and you need to take reasonable steps to ensure that the item is returned at no cost to you. (More advice in that post).

2) It was marked at that price so I can have it at that price!

Nope. Quite simply any price tag is an “invite to treat.” There have been some high profile case such as the Harrods handbag story Christmas 2017. If however, you have bought it at said price and have received a confirmation then you have entered a contract and then the trader must honour the price otherwise in breach of the Consumers Rights Act 2015.  If the trader has specifically advertised it at one price and then won’t honour it would be breach of  the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended 2014).

3) It’s the manufacturer’s fault

That’s as maybe but it isn’t the manufacturer to whom you send the faulty item. In fact it’s a very common fob off from retailers. Your contract is always with the retailer to whom you gave the money. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 applies. Within 30 days of purchase you are entitled to a full refund. After this time a repair of replacement. The retailer may say you should send off for a repair. Don’t accept this. You’ll be paying postage! Always remember contract is with retailer.

4) My item is under warranty so I have to use that and send it to the manufacturer though?

Warranties are like insurance they are rarely better than your consumer rights. A warranty may help when the item is older than 6 months. This is because although your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 remain, the only difference is that after 6 months from point of purchase the onus is on the customer to prove that the fault was there when they bought the item. You could still do this though of course. Complain to the retailer and take the case to the relevant ADR scheme if there is one for the retailer who is likely to undertake an independent report at the cost to the retailer. If you want to be quicker and/or are unsure that the fault was there at point of purchase then you could use it. Some brands on specialist items do have really long warranties/guarantees so keep the paperwork for these!

A warranty may help if you use the item more than the average. So let’s take a washing machine as an example. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, an item should last a reasonable length of time. For a washing machine it would ultimately be down to a court to decide what is reasonable. But let’s say that the majority of people would expect a washing machine that is on a few times a week to last 6 years. (You couldn’t go to court after 6 years). But if you have your machine on at least once a day every year for two years the company could discover that it is the same amount of use as a 6 year old machine and therefore wear and tear. A warranty may save you there.

Remember however the cost of a warranty and at what point it would be better than your consumer rights and how much it would cost you at that point!

5) I’ve only had my item two months, the store has to give me a refund

It doesn’t actually. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to goods and services that are fit for purpose, of satisfactory quality, as described and last a reasonable length of time. However, after 30 days from point of purchase the retailer can offer a refund or repair. They must give a refund before 30 days.

  1. 6) I have the packaging and I know when I bought it from what store so I should get redress for my faulty item

  2. This is a common misconception. People hear that they don’t need a receipt but don’t always hear the second part! You don’t need a receipt but you DO need a proof of purchase, so this could be a credit card bill statement where a store can trace the transaction.
  1. 7) The jumper doesn’t fit the trader has to give me my money back.

  2. Sadly not. This is considered a “change of mind” and it is down to the goodwill of the company. If there’s nothing wrong with the item and it’s as described you  will have to see the store’s terms and conditions.However. If the item was bought online you do have more rights. You have a 14 day cooling off period. You may have to pay return postage costs if there is nothing wrong with the item. For more on online rights see Your rights, mail order, online and deliveries.For more about unwanted purchases and gifts see What to do with the ghost of Christmas Present?

 

Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Latest News Laws

Peter Kay cancelled shows – your rights

Refunds for cancelled events

Earlier today Peter Kay announced on Twitter that he was cancelling his 18 month tour due to unforeseen family circumstances.

Your rights if you bought tickets for this cancelled event

Refunds for tickets bought from Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster was the official vendor for the live arena tour. It usually refunds tickets automatically including any service charges and it will make the refund to the card you used for payment.

Refunds for tickets bought from a third party seller

StubHub has a FanProtect service so it will refund you the total cost of your order. Seatwave also offers a full refund for cancelled events. Some secondary agents belong to the Association of Secondary Ticket Agents (ASTA) therefore following a code of conduct which includes refunding the full amount in light of cancelled events. Other secondary sites are not members so you will need to check the site for their terms and conditions.

Refunds for tickets bought from social media sites

If you have bought from a Facebook individual/group or a ticket tout you don’t have any rights because the contractual rights for a refund lay with them. Your only chance is if you can trace them and request that they refund you.

Timescales for getting a refund from a cancelled event

You should be refunded from a seller within 30 days but providers may set their own deadlines if overwhelmed. Ticketmaster has said it will refund within 15 days.

Other ways to get a refund for a cancelled event

Credit card. If you paid more than £100 by credit card you will be able to claim from the credit card company using Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act

Paypal. You should be able to get a refund through their Buyer Protection scheme.

Debit card. You may be able to claim through Chargeback. Contact your bank regarding this voluntary scheme.

Telephone costs incurred due to cancelled events

Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 traders cannot use a number that is charged at more than the basic rate for after sale enquiries. Numbers starting 084, 087, 090, 091 or 098 are non-geographic numbers. They have an Access Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the caller’s telephone provider and a Service Charge set by and paid to the benefit of the called party and their telecoms provider. They are banned for use in after sales customer services situations. If you have to ring one of these numbers ensure you get the cost of the call refunded. Please let me know in the comments if you have had to ring one of these numbers after sales in the comments below.

The Sun covered these costs in more detail. Peter Kay fans charged up to 62p per minute to call premium rate phone line to claim ticket refunds.

Administration costs you paid for cancelled events

In theory you should get all he costs back but a third party seller may say that it still undertook the service and so is entitled to keep this amount. It is possible that this cost will be kept. Always check terms and conditions when using these sites, although you can try and argue unfair charges and contracts.

Consequential loss from cancelled event

Because there is a breach of contract (Consumer Rights Act 2015) you should be entitled to consequential loss such as travel costs or hotels that you may have booked. In this case there has been so much notice given that it is unlikely that you would have lost out on travel costs or not be able to get the costs of a hotel back. In the unlikely event that you have incurred other costs you should claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

For more information on cancelled events and your rights see All you need to know when an event is cancelled

 

For more information, tips, advice, guidance and consumer laws explore the blog and GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

 

 

 

 

 

Peter Kay cancelled shows Your Rights (1)