Faulty goods – as time goes by your rights change

Have you ever bought something that has worked well to start with but then you discover it is faulty? There some strict guidelines that retailers must follow with regards to putting right a faulty good. The information I am providing you with below will give the advice you need. Read to the end if you are still unsure about what to do.

The first 30 days

Generally speaking, if your goods are faulty you can reject them for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. If it’s more than 30 days but less than 6 months since you bought the time, the law presumes the fault was there at the time of purchase (and it is up to the retailer to prove otherwise). The retailer should replace or repair the product at this stage. That bit is the easy bit!

After 6 months

After 6 months you still have rights but the burden is on you, the purchaser, to prove there was a fault when the item was purchased. You must show that the failure isn’t due to misuse on your part, or normal wear and tear. There are a number of ways you can do this, you could ask a qualified tradesperson to provide a report for you, for example, a garage, electrician, television engineer etc. dependent on the item that has become faulty. These days you can also get a lot of information from the internet, so look there for evidence that you are not the only one with the problem as this may indicate a known manufacturing issue and may provide the evidence you need.

What recompense should you expect?

So, assuming you can prove the fault, the retailer should still offer some sort of recompense. Recompense will depend on the price that you paid for the item and how long you would expect the item to last. These rights last for 6 years from the date of purchase. Dependent on how long you have owned the item, the retailer may ask you to contribute to the cost of the repair. They may also ask you to buy a new item at a discounted price, or you may be offered a refurbished item as a replacement for your faulty item. Please remember, the further into the six years you get, the smaller the recompense is likely to be. You might also like to do a bit of research to see how long the item is expected to last – if the goods that you buy fail at 4 years old and that is the expected lifespan of the item, then you will not have any rights to make a claim.

Manufacturer’s warranty though?

If your goods have a manufacturer’s warranty, it might be easier to make a claim with the manufacturer. Read the warranty though, as the service they offer may be different to your statutory rights.

You might need to use the County Court to pursue your case if you want to suggest that the goods are not of satisfactory quality. That is because they were not free from minor defects, not durable etc. and the retailer is not cooperating with you.

Still unsure about what to do?

Get in touch with Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline, they should be able to help if you have any questions.

0808 223 1133

www.citizensadvice.org.uk