It’s annoying when a product has reoccurring faults, but what do you do when the manufacturer wants to charge you to come out and look at it when it was only recently serviced?
Which? member Phillip Needham bought an Aga Rangemaster Cooker in 2008. After the warranty expired, he bought an annual service contract covering labour and spare parts. This contract ended in July 2017, and during this period the Aga was serviced annually and repairs made as required.
There had been two problems, once in 2013 and then in October 2016, where the Aga had lost heat. The last service under the plan was in July 2017.
But less than eight weeks later, the cooker developed the same fault as before. Phillip contacted Aga, pointing out that it was only a short time since it was serviced and also that it was less than a year since it had been repaired for the same problem.
However, as Phillip was out of contract, Aga requested payment of a £185 call-out fee, plus any parts required. Phillip then turned to Which? Legal for advice.
We helped Phillip put together a letter referring to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, explaining his rights and giving Aga one more chance to repair the cooker for free. Aga said it would not.
So we suggested that Phillip wrote again, saying that he would get the appliance repaired himself, but that he’d pursue Aga through the courts if necessary.
Aga then called and said it would send an engineer without charge to see what the fault was. Although the problem was the same, it turned out to be a different component. The engineer fitted a new one free of charge, and Phillip just had to pay for the new component.
Philip’s contract was a mixed one, for goods and service. As it was renewed annually, a new contract was made each year.
Such contracts entered into after 1 October 2015 are governed by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. This says that if goods aren’t of satisfactory quality, or if a service isn’t carried out with reasonable care and skill, you have the right to request a repair or replacement or that the services are done again, with the trader bearing any costs.
If the manufacturer fails to do this, you have the right to reject the goods or accept a price reduction for the services. If it refuses this, you can take it to court.
This article by the Which? Legal team originally appeared in the February 2018 edition of Which? magazine.
Have you had similar issues trying to get a manufacturer to investigate a fault in a cooker or other home product? Did you get the problem resolved and if so, what worked for you?