Faulty Goods: Do You Know Your Consumer Rights?

According to the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), UK consumers lose around £5,000 on faulty goods that they don’t take back. We take a look at your consumer rights with regards to faulty goods to help make sure you don’t lose out on this money.

BIS research, undertaken as part of the ‘Know Your Consumer Rights’ campaign, reveals that almost half of shoppers surveyed have at least one faulty item at home they wished they had exchanged or had refunded. What’s even worse almost a third have up to five faulty items.

Many shoppers fear taking things back. Importantly though if the goods are faulty you do have a right to return them. Many stores will also allow returns simply because you have changed your mind.

Here are some Top Tips from the ‘Know Your consumer Rights Campaign’ to help when considering whether or not to return goods:

1. Return the goods to the retailer. This is because your contract is with the retailer and not the manufacturer. The retailer should be the first person to contact to request a refund. If you have a manufacturer’s warranty you can contact them as well as the retailer. Make sure you don’t delay – act as soon as you discover the fault.

2. You do not need a receipt to obtain a refund for faulty goods. That said you may be required to show proof of purchase with a credit card slip, bank statement or cheque stub.

3. Check with the retailer on their refund or exchange policy. Although you do not have the legal right to take back goods just because you’ve changed your mind, many stores do offer a ‘no questions asked’ refund or exchange policy.

4. Buying goods from the internet gives you the same rights as if you were shopping on the high street. In addition, you have the right to a seven day ‘cooling off’ period from the date you receive the goods, with the right to a full refund regardless of the reason for return. This doesn’t apply if the goods were personalised for you, or are not in the same condition as when they were delivered.

With many people feeling nervous about returning an item, embarassed or initimated, knowing your rights might just help you overcome these fears and ensure ‘you can return any faulty or unwanted goods with added confidence’, as Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan says.

If you want more information about your consumer rights visit Consumer Direct.

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One comment

  1. I bought a Dell Studio Laptop 26 mths ago and I am still paying for it. My battery has never properly worked and I telephoned them about twelve months ago thinking I wasn’t charging my computer properly. Now for the last 6 months I have been having pop ups saying your battery has nearly exhausted it’s life dnd needs replacing.

    Can this be returned as faulty after 26 months.

    I await your comments.

    Regards, Glynis Evans

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