In-store shopping - Warranties/Guarantees

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It is often easier and more fruitful to use your rights under consumer protection law to make a claim if you find yourself with faulty or unsatisfactory goods. In this case, there is a statutory implied warranty of six years on products. For the first six months, the retailer is responsible for proving they are not responsible for the fault. After six months, you will need to prove that the issue is with the goods and not from natural wear and tear or your own use of the product. You will also need to take into consideration the original cost of the product.

If you do choose to use your warranty or guarantee, you should check the conditions issued to you at the point of sale. Most warranties and guarantees have a time limit within which they can be used; this is often a year, but is sometimes longer. You might also have been required to fill in a form with details of your purchase and register with the provider; if you haven’t done this, you may be unable to make a claim.

You should know
  • You should generally expect a response within a week.
  • If you don't get a response within this timeframe, follow up with another message!
  • If you can't find a resolution with a retailer, they should give you the details of a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution provider (if the retailer has signed up to one).
  • You have six years to take a claim for faulty goods to court. Be aware that after 6 months it becomes your responsibility to prove who is at fault.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and ombudsman services

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers are available to all businesses. They help when a dispute cannot be settled directly with the consumer.

These systems offer a quicker, cheaper way of resolving disputes than the courts.

If you can't resolve a matter directly with a business, they should give you an ADR providers details. They should let you know if they're willing to use the ADR for your issue.

Businesses don't have to use ADR unless they operate in a sector where the law says they have to.

The main ADRs for the retail sector are:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Scheme for Retail (RetailADR)
  • and the Furniture Ombudsman

The Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act sets out rules for:

  • What should happen when something’s faulty
  • What should happen when services aren’t as described
  • What should happen if you sign up to an unfair contract.

Generally speaking, it gives you quite a wide range of protection whenever you buy goods or services.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act

If you buy goods or services on your credit card, you may be protected under Section 75 if something goes wrong. Section 75 applies to goods bought on a credit card with a total value of between £100 and £30,000. If something goes wrong with your purchase, your credit provider is “jointly and severally liable” for any breach of contract or misrepresentation by the seller.

This is especially useful in situations where the seller has gone bust! In these cases, you can approach your credit card company and let them know you’re making a claim under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

Manufacturer’s Warranties

Many goods come with a warranty. If something goes wrong with your purchase, you can consider making a claim on the warranty. If successful, your purchase will be repaired or replaced free of charge.

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