I get asked all sorts of questions that create good content to share with my followers, and being asked if retailers should arrange collection of faulty goods is interesting.

BACKGROUND

I got a ride-on lawnmower that needs a repair and the dealer I bought it off are refusing to come collect it to do the work. That can’t be right? Also the same company have agreed to a rejection of a scythe mower but again are refusing to pick it up. Should they pick up the items in both instances?”

Further questions ascertained that the dealership is 28 miles away.

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015

In essence, the question of whether retailers are liable for collection of faulty goods depends on the circumstances. In this scenario, it is unreasonable to expect a customer to take a ride-on lawnmower 28 miles away as it would require a van or trailer to do so.

I don’t know how long the customer has had the ride-on lawnmower, but nevertheless this scenario falls under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which states that goods should be;

  • Satisfactory quality
  • Fit for purpose
  • As described
  • Last a reasonable length of time

Furthermore, he is giving them one opportunity to fix the problem and they have refused to cooperate by not arranging for it to be collected. He can hardly take it to the dealership and they should arrange for it to be collected under the circumstances.

My advice was to put it to them that (you) will be rejecting it under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 as you have given them one opportunity to fix it. They have refused to cooperate, so you will be returning it and (they) will be paying for it either on collection or in the Small Claims Court.

THE LITMUS TEST

The litmus test in all complaints and disputes is, “What would a reasonable person expect?”. In this case, any reasonable person would expect a dealership to arrange for it to be collected so they can repair and return it. I am confident that a Court would agree with this.

As for the scythe mower that they have agreed a rejection on but refused to collect it, I recommended a similar course of action – send it back with the delivery to be paid on collection or in the Small Claims Court.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

This brings me on to the importance of great customer service. This dealership should have seen this as an opportunity to shine and go the extra mile to resolve this customer’s problems. That would have made for a delighted customer who would recommend this outlet to his friends, family and further afield on various public forums and he would have made a great ambassador for the firm.

Instead, they have chosen to make an enemy out of him by refusing to cooperate and help him with his problems.

M & S got this right in a textbook example when a daughter bought her Mum flowers that only lasted a couple of days.

We only have to look at Thomas Cook and Jet2 to see how firms fail or thrive based on the promise of going the extra mile and being customer-centric (or not). Both firms are in the same industry yet are poles apart on reputation, awards, profits and a loyal customer following.

Any business that fails to be proactive and customer-centric will struggle in years to come. Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy and are not afraid to spread the word via Google Reviews, Trustpilot and other forums that potential customers often check before committing to making a purchase.

Have you had a similar experience with retailers? If so, what was the outcome?

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