How to reject and return faulty goods and your consumer rights is a problem I see virtually every day. This is a typical scenario that many will be able to connect with.
A friend of mine bought a gas oven and hob online from Currys PC World. The (electric) oven was delivered damaged with a hob that did not fit to the oven, as the oven had no clearance for the gas outlet.
A few weeks elapsed whilst trying to remedy these problems with Currys PC World to no avail. A plumber spent over 2 hours trying to fit it.
Currys PC World eventually offered 10% off a gas hob that does not fit to a damaged electric oven (when a gas oven was requested). The alternative offered was to have the damaged oven collected and replaced. She was happy to keep the oven and simply have the hob swapped for one that fits.
CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015
You are protected under such scenarios by The Consumer Rights Act 2015, which states that any goods sold need to be;
- Satisfactory quality
- Fit for purpose
- As described
- Last a reasonable length of time
Services provided need to be carried out with due skill and care.
Retailers are also expected to arrange for faulty goods to be collected at their expense.
It is clear to anyone reading this that it is a clear cut case. However, retailers have a habit of deliberately trying to fob consumers off and muddy the waters to wriggle out of their obligations.
Currys PC World are renowned for fob offs, blatant lies and selling faulty goods. This is evidenced by online reviews, Twitter comments, dedicated Facebook pages for complaints and Trustpilot reviews.
You have 30 days to automatically reject and return faulty goods under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Once that has elapsed, you have to give the retailer one opportunity to repair, refund or replace the goods.
Any faults found within the first 6 months are considered to have been there since inception. This is where you apply the reverse burden of proof.
You need to prove that the fault was there once 6 months has elapsed. This can be done by an independent report or proof that it is a common fault in the public domain by a Google search.
Other out of pocket expenses have been incurred in this instance due to the negligence of Currys PC World, so these costs can be claimed for as well.
If you have paid by credit card, the credit card provider is jointly and severally liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as the cost will be more than £100. This will still apply even if you have just paid 1p deposit as the oven will be more than £100.
You can pursue a claim down this route if the retailer will not give you a full refund. This is referred to as a chargeback. The card provider will raise a ticket to investigate your disputed transaction and reverse it if your claim is proved to be legitimate.
You can take the retailer to the Small Claims Court as a last resort. You have to demonstrate that you have followed the complaints process and exhausted all options.
Online shopping and failed deliveries is another scenario that consumers have problems with. Retailers need to stop fobbing consumers off with lies and legalese jargon.
In an era where everything is pretty much the same, the one thing that sets a firm apart is great customer service. Bad experiences travel much further and faster than good experiences. Consumers are more than willing to share them far and wide on forums such as Facebook, TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, Trustpilot and many others.
Have you been able to assert your consumer rights to reject and return faulty goods? Which stores have you found to be the worst to deal with?