We helped a member get her money back when the heater she bought didn’t work as advertised. Have you ever had a company fail to resolve an issue?
Which? Legal member Linda Hanam paid £544.95 by credit card for a multi-season air conditioner/humidifier/heater unit from Airconcentre.
The first time she used it in heating mode, the internal water tank filled up, shutting off the machine. This also happened on several subsequent occasions.
She contacted Airconcentre, which checked the unit and said there was nothing wrong with it, but when she used it in heating mode again, the water had to be manually drained daily, or fitted with a hose. This wasn’t mentioned in the product description.
We advised Linda that it’s an offence for a trader to mislead customers by presenting false or deceptive information about a product.
In her case, the description stated ‘…there is no need to periodically empty a water tank, which is typical of many other models,’ and ‘our evaporative technology uses any collected moisture to cool the unit, before it is eliminated through the exhaust ducts, leaving no water bucket to empty’.
As Airconcentre was not resolving the matter, we advised Linda to put in a claim with her credit card provider. The card provider refunded her in full.
Your rights explained
If someone is misled by the description of a product, they have rights to redress under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008; Regulation 5 makes it an offence for a trader to mislead a consumer in regards to the main characteristics of a product.
The consumer would be entitled to unwind the contract if it was still within 90 days of purchase. After that time they could seek a discount, which could be up to 100% of the purchase price, depending on the severity of the breach.
In addition, section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 applies where goods or services are bought using a credit card (even for only part of the price) and the total cost of the contract is between £100 and £30,000.
Where there is a misrepresentation or breach of contract by the trader, the credit card provider is deemed to be liable, either solely or jointly with the seller.
Have you ever been misled by a product’s description? How did the company resolve it?