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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Christmas Latest News Press releases

What to do with the ghost of Christmas Present?

Things you can do with unwanted Christmas presents

returns - your rights

Returns – your rights

See Christmas presents, returns – your rights.  If you can’t ask the present giver for the receipt, or you don’t know where the item was bought and there is no way of returning the item you got for Christmas, what can you do with it?

Four money bloggers take a look at what you could do:

Helen Dewdney

 

Helen Dewdney The Complaining Cow and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide (that’s me that is!)

 

photo of Faith Archer

 

 

Faith Archer of Much More with Less

 

photo of Emily

 

Emily Rowley of A Thrifty Fox

 

 

photo of Hollie

 

Hollie Gregersen of Thrifty Mum

 

 

Regift

We bloggers say first, of course! But make a note of who gave it to you, so you don’t give it back! (Although my mother once gave a little book of friendship to someone. She even handwrote a message on the first page. the woman gave the book back to her with the page torn out! I kid you not!) Keep them with the bargains that you buy throughout the year as gifts for various people and events!

Recycle

For example, clothes banks, shoe banks and

Donate to charity

I like to donate unwanted items and there’s more than the obvious charity shop. Towels, duvets and bed linen can be donated to a homeless charity or pet rescue (many places won’t take duvets but pet rescues will take for making into dog beds!) Look at Freecycle too. There are 5,314 groups with 9,140,031 members around the world, and local to you. Run by volunteers it enables people to donate to local people who will give your item a loving home and keep things out of landfill as people find different uses for similar items!

Fundraisers

Donate for a tombola or raffle, such as your child’s school. All PTAs welcome good raffle prizes! If there are lots of small gifts suitable for children, consider keeping them for next year and making up a box for next year’s shoebox appeal.

Foodbanks

If not Christmassy and has a good “eat by” date on it, give to your local foodbank. Many are grateful for toiletries too. And don’t forget to donate to the foodbank throughout the year. Ideas of how to help at very low cost here.

Upcycle

Faith suggests using hampers as very useful storage boxes or bins, as examples.

Sell

Faith also recommends selling on auction sites or car boot as the item is, or upcycled to make more money! And to sell free of charges, try a garage sale, Facebook Marketplace/local groups or Gumtree.

Rent

Faith adds that renting is growing in popularity. Some people are now hiring out a range of things, such as baby items, power tools and clothes. Look into doing it yourself or join in with existing budding entrepreneurs!

Council

Emma advises checking with your local council social services department, as many will redistribute toys to a toy library or homeware to a family in need.

Swap or swish

These are great, enthuses Hollie! This is where you can take good condition clothes and jewellery and swap. Organise an event yourself or search online to find a local one. Multi Coloured Swap Shop is back for adults!

Another idea: Perhaps this year is the year that you have a chat with people about reducing the present buying next time?!

What have you tried?