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Do you know your consumer rights?

Ever had a faulty product, missing parcel, dodgy second-hand car or delayed flight? Well, you have rights – but do you know what to do with them?

Last year, we asked 2,000 of our members about some common consumer rights misconceptions.

We found some scenarios seemed to be cut and dry – such as returning a faulty second-hand car to a dealership or staying in a room with a carpark view instead of the seaview you’d booked.

But others were a lot more confusing.

For example, we asked if it was true or false whether a landlord was responsible for all repairs and maintenance to a property.

44% said true     |     29% said false     |      27% didn’t know

The correct answer is true – but you’ll need to check your tenancy agreement as to what is the tenant’s responsibility. Usually this comes down to keeping the property in a good state of repair, changing the lightbulbs and keeping plugholes clear.

Read more about your responsibilities as tenant in our guide

Does where you shop change your rights?

We asked if you ordered a product online, you have more more rights to return it than if you ordered in-store.

40% said true, but 60% either didn’t know, or incorrectly thought you had the same rights in-store as you do online.

In fact, you have much more enhanced rights shopping online thanks to the 14-day cooling off cancellation period which doesn’t end until 14 days after you receive whatever you bought online.

Read our guide to cancelling an order for goods or services you placed online

“I’m renting and there’s mould”

We also asked if it was always the landlord’s responsibility to remove mould.

33% said true     |     27% said false     |     40% didn’t know

This answer is false as, sometimes, depending on the type of mould, it falls on the tenant’s shoulders to remove it. You can read more about which mould is whose responsibility in our free guide.

Helping resolve your queries

Here at Which? Conversation, we’re often asked to help with problems varying from delivery issues to misleading advertising and from faulty televisions to shady art dealings.

And fair enough, consumer law can be complicated with lots of grey areas and uncertainty about where to turn if you’re not being heard.

Visit Which? Consumer Rights

Have you had any problems where your consumer rights haven’t been upheld? Or any issues where your rights haven’t been clear? Tell us in the comments and we can help direct you to the right advice.

Comments

Hi

We are just about to start a small claim against a builder but before doing so I want to make absolutely sure we are in the right! We paid a deposit for building work and then a couple of days later cancelled the service (for multiple reasons). He hadn’t started any work or bought materials.
The initial contract said the deposit was non-refundable but I queried this this Citizen’s Advice who said a 14 day cooling off period should apply which means our deposit should be refunded regardless of the trader’s terms and conditions. Despite multiple letters etc he has not explained why these regulations don’t apply to this case or accepted our request for ADR. Is this a clear cut case? Is there any reason why he doesn’t need to return our deposit?
Thanks

This may apply in your case: “What happens when the consumer changes their mind?
Normally a consumer has no automatic right to change their mind and to cancel a contract; therefore if this happens they are in breach of contract. However, there is an automatic right to cancel in some special cases, including most consumer contracts made at a distance (for example, mail order or internet) or at a consumer’s home etc. See ‘Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Charges) Regulations 2013’ below.

If a consumer cancels the contract wrongfully, the trader can claim the reasonable costs incurred. Where the trader cannot recover the lost sale (for example, by making another booking in place of the cancelled one) their claim may include loss of profit. If the consumer has made full or part payment up front, the trader can only retain enough to cover these losses and must refund the difference.

The builder may have set time aside for your work and not taken other jobs on, for example. As you made a contract you may well have to accept you cannot break it, unless the builders condition could be termed “unfair”. I’m not sure the 14 day right to cancel would apply in your case. However, as a significant amount was presumably involved I would get legal advice before proceeding; Which? Legal would be a good start.

Hi Malcom R

Thanks for your response.

Yes we are basing this on the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation & Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 – the contract was entered into in our home.

There were only about 3 days in between us paying the deposit and cancelling so I don’t think the thing about not taking other jobs on would apply here. We also cancelled about a month before the work was due to take place.

Gina Brady says:
11 February 2020

Cooker my mum paid money up front for a service and guy stayed 10mins at the most. We was told rings need to be replacement and flame issues. My mum is on the phone to them and they keep telling her a different story. She is fed up now.

Hi,
Could anyone please advise on opticians prices for lenses?
My 5 years old child, has scratched his lenses,and the options are asking me to pay £65.00.
The NHS repair voucher,covers the value of £59.30 (type B) or £86.90 (type C). I think we have type C.
The previous lenses have been “thinned”(extra cost). we did not pay, as it was covered by the NS voucher.
However,the opticians website states that the standard cost for thinning the lenses is £45. When I mentioned this to them, the reply came as “this is the price for adults lenses”.
Does anyone know the price for children’s lenses?

sorry,I posted this on the wrong page

Sheila Crafter says:
12 February 2020

I bought an Argos kettle (Cookworks illumination Kettle) in November 2019.Last month the kettle would not switch off automatically and in turning off the kettle from the mains I sustained nasty burns to both arms. Looking on the Argos website I was amazed that there were 14 products on the Argos Product Recall. How can so many items fail the Sale of Goods Act when they are dangerous and not fit for purpose? Many of the Argos goods were in breach of fire & safety standard regulations eg bedding, tumble dryers, memory foam mattresses, baby sleep bags, child safety gates, cafetieres, ovens, children’s toys. It was mind boggling What has happened to manufacturing standards and product testing products before they reach the high street?

Dear Ms Crafter,

I am very sorry to hear of the problems with your kettle and the burns sustained.

Although, strictly Which? Legal can’t provide advice on personal injury or dangerous products (beyond obtaining a repair/replacement/refund for the product) if you haven’t already you absolutely need to make a formal complaint to Argos for the kettle and injuries suffered.

I would also suggest obtaining some advice on the personal injury aspect of this dispute to see if there may be any recourse for the injury suffered.

The starting point for getting some appropriate advice would be to check any home/contents insurance, premium bank accounts (the type you pay for each month) or union memberships for legal expenses insurance. This insurance can usually provide some preliminary advice particularly on personal injury matters.

I hope that this gives some practical guidance to assist with dealing the issue.

Yours sincerely,

James Shelton
Lawyer

The Argos recall list includes 17 product groups over the last year that have safety problems. This is not many out of their whole range (assuming that is the total – but I’d suggest there will be others unreported or undiscovered). However, it looks as though some of them fail regulatory standards. This is of great concern as it implies that Argos, as some other retail outlets, do not take sufficient due diligence in selecting products and manufacturers.

Retailers must be deterred from taking a lax attitude towards product safety. In my view only substantial financial penalties will do this when they sell a batch of defective products that they could, through proper investigation, have rejected before sale.

We need Trading Standards properly funded and staffed to police the system for the protection of consumers and to deal with careless retailers.

Some companies such as Argos, B&Q, John Lewis, Tesco and even Currys (a company that we rightly criticise over other matters on these pages) have links to recent recalls recalls from the homepage on their website and I have seen posters in shops. In contrast, Amazon and eBay have no such information.

Which? has identified various dangerous products on sale online, for example: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/09/killer-chargers-travel-adaptors-and-power-banks-rife-on-online-marketplaces/ Although these have been removed from sale I wonder if owners are aware that their phone charger could electrocute them or cause a fire if a problem developed. I would like to see legislation to require retailers to put conspicuous information about recalls on their websites and in their stores.

Sheila – I’m very sorry to hear about your injuries. I hope you never have a similar experience. A safe way to deal with a kettle that won’t switch off is to turn off the power at the consumer unit (fusebox). I once had to do this when a neighbour had a pan fire.

Catherine Bowles says:
12 February 2020

Hi.
I have a Hotpoint washer/dryer which is a replacement for an earlier machine that also broke. I only received this machine in September, but have been unable to use it since last November. There have been several repairs, but they have been unable to fix the problem. I’m really unhappy now and just want an entirely different brand of machine and to be refunded at least the delivery cost of the new machine. I have spoken to Hotpoint and they keep telling me that they will ring me but never do.

Hi Catherine, I’m sorry to hear you’re having ongoing problems with your machine.

Can I quickly check whether you were affected by Whirlpool’s tumble dryer or washing machine recall? (You can check your Hotpoint washing machine here: https://washingmachinerecall.whirlpool.co.uk/)

If the machine was a recalled model, you’ll need to follow the recall process as outlined by Whirlpool.
If it wasn’t recalled, there are a few ways you can try to get some money back for a faulty item.

It’s worth checking if you have a warranty with your new machine, as this should guarantee you a free repair or a refund.

You might also want to get in touch with the retailer you bought the machine from.

If both the retailer and Hotpoint don’t engage with your complaint, you can escalate it to the Consumer Ombudsman, which may result in a repayment: https://www.ombudsman-services.org/

It’s also worth contacting your bank if you paid by credit or debit card – you might be able to make a chargeback claim if you explain that your product is faulty and not fit for purpose.

And you may be able to make a claim on your home insurance too – depending on your coverage, they might offer you a new machine of equivalent value.

Hope this helps!

Paul Frindle says:
12 February 2020

I have a question. My partner recently bought me a smart watch as an Xmas present from Currys PC World. On Xmas day when I received it, we concluded that it was not suitable for my purpose, so she tried to take it back for a refund. The watch was completely unused and still in the retail box. However, because we had opened the retail box to see what was in it – and obviously we took off the clear shrink wrap to achieve that, they have refused to take it back?
This is in spite of the fact that their site is full of guarantees to present buyers, that refunds and exchanges are possible – so we can buy presents from there in confidence.
We still have this watch sitting here which cost upwards of £300!
Surely this is in contravention to our normal consumer rights?

Actually, no. If an article is bought in a shop there is no statutory obligation on the retailer to refund or replace it if there is nothing technically wrong with it. You need to check the wording of the relevant customer information; it probably requires the product to be in its original packaging and unopened. This is not unusual with tech goods. Other retailers are more accommodating. Buying goods on-line [or by other forms of distance selling] is a way of obtaining the additional consumer right to a full refund provided the product is rejected within fourteen days of receipt. It is possible that a Currys PC World employee has misinterpreted or wrongly applied the company’s policy and if you feel that is the case then you should take it up with higher management. Whatever the company’s policy states it should be administered consistently and any exclusions from the policy should be declared.

Dear Mr Frindle,

I am sorry to hear that the smart watch purchased wasn’t suitable for your purpose.

As John Ward above has suggested if the item was purchased in store then you have very limited rights to ‘change your mind’. There is no legislation that supports an in store purchase for simply cancelling the contract and therefore this will fall to the stores returns policy. If the store policy is unclear then there may be room for a complaint about the ambiguity/application of the policy. Particularly, if this centres on the films being taken off the product.

Alternatively, if the item was purchased at a distance i.e on the internet then you have a statutory right to cancel the contract in the first 14 days commencing the day after delivery for a full refund and return of the standard cost of postage. However, usually the buyer will have to pay for the return costs unless the traders terms and conditions state otherwise. The legal position about cancelling a contract at a distance is to allow you to inspect the product as if you were in a store. I think given the product is unused this will assist your argument however, as the plastic films have been removed this may be a contentious point. Please note you will only have this right if you have exercised your right to cancel in the period of time aforementioned.

Beyond this, it’s advisable to escalate the complaint internally with Currys/PC world (DSG Retail Limited) to the company’s directors/chief executive office.

I hope this helps although, I appreciate my advice isn’t particularly positive.

Yours sincerely,

James Shelton
Lawyer.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

I agree with John, but I did find some rather confusing information on the Currys website when looking for their terms & conditions.

Unwanted products
An unwanted product can be returned for a full refund within 21 days of delivery as long as it’s still in its original, unopened packaging. This returns policy for unopened goods is in addition to your statutory rights and applies to purchases made in store, online or over the phone.

Separately to the 21 day policy above, and in accordance with your rights when you purchase goods online or over the phone, unwanted items can be returned even if you have opened them for inspection as long as you let us know within 14 calendar days from the day after delivery. Once you have told us you want to return an item, you should do so without undue delay and not later than 14 days from the day on which you informed us of your decision to cancel the order. You can examine the goods as you would in a shop but to obtain a full refund you must not start using them, install them or input any data/software. The goods must be returned in ‘as new’ condition and in their original packaging.

Returns and exchanges can only be processed with proof of purchase. This can be the sales receipt, a bank statement or an online sales invoice. Please provide your order numbers when you return a product.

The website does not make it clear whether they are referring to goods bought in store or online but the reference to 14 days from delivery suggests the latter. I wonder exactly what “…opened them for inspection” means.

Perhaps put yourself in the shoes of a retailer who, if a product is returned simply because you do not like it rather than because it is faulty, or not as described, might then have difficulty reselling at the full price if necessary protective packaging has been removed and cannot be replaced..

Inspection – unless a product has a fault that can only be discovered by taking protective packing off I would suggest that this should be accomplished by the least intrusive means possible.

We should be fair to both retailer and customer.

The retailer could help customers by simple measures such as placing a warning sticker on clear packaging to say that this must not be opened if the goods are to be returned, and also to have clear terms and conditions that distinguish between goods sold in stores and online.

If the goods are faulty they can be rejected for a refund, including carriage, within 30 days, even if opened and used.

William Darkes says:
13 February 2020

Hi we purchased a Leather corner suite and power recliner from DFS delivered on 24/01/20 within hour hour of use there was major puddling and stretching on recliner and corner unit, description from DFS claims the seat cushion are filled with foam that bounces back looks beautiful and no need to plump, this is not the case it looks like we’ve owned this suite for years rather than days, we purchased on 4 years interest free finance DFS said this is normal and they can not do anything and refuse to take suite back under my consumer rights, we have contacted the finance company and are waiting for a reply. Any other suggestions as to what I should do next?

Hi William,

I am sorry to hear about your issue with DFS.

You have taken the correct steps in contacting both DFS and the finance company as they can possibly be held jointly and severally liable (depending on the finance agreement).

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 there is an expectation that your suite must be of satisfactory quality which means it must durable and free from minor defects. It is not reasonable to expect that a suite which is a few days old should be puddling and stretching.

In light of this you may be able to argue that both DFS and the finance company are in breach of contract. In turn a breach gives rise to certain remedies such as the right to a repair or replacement which must be done within a reasonable amount of time, without significant inconvenience to the consumer and while the company bears all necessary costs.

It is advisable to wait for a response from the finance company before taking any further steps. If they are not willing to uphold your consumer rights then you may need to consider obtaining an independent report to highlight the poor quality of the suite.

I hope the above information is of assistance, if you require further tailored legal advice, please contact Which? Legal to explore our membership options.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

Evgeni Hristov

Which? Legal – Legal Adviser

Lyn Keenan says:
14 February 2020

Hi we bought American fridge freezer Oct 2018 it stopped working 3rd January so just over 1yr old LG sent engineer first time diagnosed fault wrong came back 2 weeks later to say it need a new compressor 2 weeks later came to fit it initially the new compressor did work he eventually got it working but it’s making a very annoying noise it is in open plan living area which we reported again and the engineer came back and says the fridge is working and compressors all make different noises and prettying much told us that we have to live with it I’m furious as the fridge didnt make that level of noise before what can we do

Adam Rowles says:
15 February 2020

I bought a Lenovo Yoga 710 laptop from John Lewis. Within 6 months the screen cracked when opening it. They said it was “Customer Inflicted Damage” and not covered under the warranty. I took them to court, the judge found in my favour saying it wasn’t fit for purpose as it was not durable enough. The small claims court might take a while to be heard but it is an easy and inexpensive way to get justice when a retailer or manufacturer drags their feet. I’d be happy to share my experience with others who are interested.

Diana Brown says:
16 February 2020

I received a free voucher from Ubereats but they are refusing to honour it even though I have provided a copy of the information sent with my personal details to identify who I am.

I expect only things you have bought and paid for give you consumer rights. There could be a breach of contract in your case which would probably be prohibitive to pursue. I presume you have checked that all the terms and conditions attached to the voucher have been satisfied. You are entitled to an explanation of why the voucher was rejected.

Nicole says:
19 February 2020

Hi
I was bought a Hunter rubber coat as a Christmas gift & it has started to come apart at the seams on both arms. I have contacted them to discuss a repair or replacement but they have been very dismissive & quite rude on occasion. The problem is I don’t have a receipt & the coat was bought by my sister with cash from the Regent Street store. She was here from South Africa on holiday so wasn’t making card payments due to charges applied for exchange rates etc. Do I have a leg to stand on?

As it is within 6 months of purchase it will be assumed to have had a fault from new – unless it can be shown to have been abused. You are entitled, by law (the Consumer Rights Act 2015), to a repair or a replacement (depends on whether one is more disproportionate in cost to the other) and denying your rights is a criminal offence. Proof of purchase date might be the issue, but at worst you could have your sister send the dates she was on holiday, the date and perhaps the rough time she purchased the coat and I’d expect the store to have the sale on record.

If you cannot visit the store easily it might be worth sending Hunter a photo of the problem and of the label with your follow-up complaint.

Dear Nicole,

I am sorry to hear of the problems with your rubber coat. I agree with a good part of Malcolm R’s discussion below. The argument is as per the Consumer Rights Act 2015 that the product isn’t of satisfactory quality and therefore a repair/replacement would be the appropriate remedy.

It is always your burden to prove purchase. The difficulty here is that this isn’t technically your contract it’s your sisters so ideally you would need her consent to deal with this matter in writing. Further, as Malcolm suggested with the date of purchase and roughly the time of purchase the store should be able to assist in locating a receipt/provide some assistance. I have known retail stores search for the exact figure of the transaction on that date and that has filtered down the results.

In the event they continue to disagree I would attempt to raise this with a Manager internally in the store and always follow up any verbal discussions in writing so you have a record of the conversations to date. If the in store conversations aren’t fruitful then a formal complaint in writing may be the only route forwards.

However, as mentioned in the absence of you proving proof of purchase the dispute may become difficult to pursue.

I hope this helps and affirms some of the information given above.

I wish you all the best,

Yours sincerely,

James Shelton
Lawyer.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

patz91 says:
20 February 2020

Hi,

Under the durability clause of the CRA 2015, could it be the length of a manufacturer’s warranty that would be considered as lasting “for a reasonable time”?

Specifically, I’m talking about a washing machine which was over £1000 and came with an 11 year warranty.

I’m considering using my final right to reject and I understand the retailer can knock some money off for the use I have already got out of it (1 year in my case), so just trying to work out how much they might decide to refund based on how long it should have lasted.

(final right to reject as I have already been provided with a replacement and the replacement itself developed a manufacturing fault)

In my view durability is not linked to a manufacturer’s warranty, but to what should be expected of a “normal” product of that type, taking account of its cost and other factors. Not easy, but many things aren’t. Someone can collect data on appliance lives before first repair of a failure, link with cost, usage, and build up a picture of what reasonable lives should be expected, or even legislate for what reasonable lives should be required. Life is not only time, but for some appliances like washing machines and dishwashers, would be cycles.

Some organisation are, I believe, already doing work on this – the EU and WRAP maybe.

If we (and retailers and, if necessary, courts) are to use the “durability” provision in the CRA we need some benchmarks to guide a decision on what is reasonable durability. That needs work; unless we tackle it we won’t help consumers.

Hi patz91 – As I expect you know, a warranty is in addition to your statutory rights provided by the CRA. Unless the terms of the warranty say that any refund will be reduced according to the age of the appliance, I would push for another replacement unless the terms say otherwise. I suggest reasoning with the retailer and point out that you bought an appliance with a decent warranty because you expected it to last a long time.

If you use the CRA you would probably have to pay for a report that provide evidence that the premature failure is related to a deficiency in the appliance and unrelated to how it was used. It might be helpful to subscribe to Which? Legal for advice and it is not necessary to be a member of Which?

Thanks wave.

In my case, I would rather just use the final right to reject under the CRA against the retailer as I’ve lost confidence in the washing machine – the first one I received had several faults and was replaced straight away by the retailer, the replacement developed a fault which was repaired under warranty and 3 weeks later has now developed a second, unrelated fault.

I’m just wondering how much the retailer would probably knock off for the 13 months of use in view of the fact that both the retailer and manufacturer were confident in its durability that they heavily promoted the 11 year warranty

I’ve searched and found a washing machine repair company which is a manufacturer authorised service centre who could come and diagnose the fault and provide a report for £45. I understand that if my claim against the retailer is successful, I could claim the cost of the report back from them

Hello again. I can understand your reasoning. We have all read of people who buy a new car and it has a succession of faults.

With luck, the report will identify a clear design fault but components like circuit boards can suffer random failures that cannot be identified as a manufacturing fault or caused by misuse. Most of these failures occur soon after purchase and this is presumably why faults are presumed to be present at the time of purchase for six months. After that, it is a case of negotiation.

Even though you are looking at rejecting the product, you can certainly make use of the fact that you were led to believe that the product would be durable. A secondhand washing machine that is faulty will be of little value to the retailer, who will want to minimise their loss and may not be generous with their offer, but this should be treated as negotiable, like the offer from an insurance company if a car is written off.

Very best of luck and please report back.

Allan says:
20 February 2020

Purchase a new washing machine 8th Jan 20, registered and purchased extended warranty as well. Fault developed and the control board failed on the 29 Jan, decided to call the warranty company, who due to the machines age passed us through to the Manufacturers service department. The manufacturer sent an engineer who confirmed the fault and ordered a new control board.
The new control board fitted on 7th Feb has now failed. Contacted the manufacturer and asked if the machine can be exchanged as it has had the same fault twice, the manufacturer says they can repair the washing machine but an exchange must be done from the reseller’s store. Visited the reseller and their stance is ‘as the manufacturer has repaired the machine the manufacturer has now accepted responsibility for any exchange or return’.
Who is correct and what rights do I have in getting the washing machine replaced as we have lost all confidence in the machine or the repair carried out.

Allan, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you legal rights that are against the retailer, with whom your contract was made. It is reasonable to contact the warranty company when a fault develops. As that has failed I consider you can pursue your CRA rights against the retailer.

The CRA says if your machine fails in the first 30 days you can opt to reject it for a full refund or choose a repair or replacement as an option. If you choose a repair and the fault is not resolved you can then choose to either keep the machine with a price reduction or you have a final right to reject for a full refund (if within the first 6 months).

Presumably you would wish to choose the full refund. This is the retailer’s responsibility to deal with, but I presume they will themselves make a claim on the manufacturer; their problem.

That’s my understanding but Which? may give a view.

Incidentally, it is a criminal offence for a retailer to deny your legal rights.

Here is a link to the legislation that you can draw to the retailer’s attention: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents

Peter White says:
21 February 2020

Hi. Can someone help please.
I have an iphone x.
The face recognition is no longer working, and I have been told by Apple tech the phone isnt repairable.
The phone is 18mths old been well looked after and is in pristine condition.
Both Apple, And O2, are refusing to help, Because thephone is out of warrenty.
Do I have any rights to have the phone replaced.
Thanks for any help provided.

Hi Peter – thanks for posting your comment.

Did you buy your phone outright or on a monthly contract?

If you bought it on a monthly contract, your claim is against 02, and it’s reasonable to expect the phone to work until the end of the contract.

But if you bought it outright, you’ll need to contact the retailer who sold it to you.

You can contact them again using our letter template, which outlines your rights under the Consumer Rights Act: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/letter/letter-to-complain-about-a-faulty-mobile-phone

Our advice with mobile phone complaints is to be persistent – retailers often pass the buck when it comes to taking responsibility.

If you’re not getting anywhere with the provider/retailer, you can escalate your claim to the Ombudsman service.

Every mobile phone provider belongs to either Cisas or the Communications Ombudsman Services, or you can go to the general Consumer Ombudsman: https://www.ombudsman-services.org/consumer-ombudsman-redirect

I hope this helps – let us know what happens!

Sean Hennessy says:
23 February 2020

Hi Peter,

I’m having the same issue with an XS Max which is 16 months old, I too bought it outright, it’s in pristine condition, and Carphone Warehouse are not interested. Let me know if you have any luck. I’m still trying Apple.

Hi Sean – It is the retailer that is legally responsible for goods rather than manufacturer. Assuming that you paid Carphone Warehouse for the phone, they are responsible for handling claims. If you have paid Apple for AppleCare cover then Apple would have a responsibility as set out under their terms & conditions, but otherwise I suggest you make a claim agains CW under the Consumer Rights Act. Hannah has provided a link to a page with a letter template two posts above. Best of luck.

Richard Vipond says:
24 February 2020

Hi bought a sh vw tiguan just over two years old and low mileage from VW dealer under the VW warranty scheme late May 2019 within a week noticed a judder when pulling away thought it was rust on brake disks but after second week took it back and they couldnt find a fault – same fault has occurred intermittently since worse recently on a long journey and been witnessed by another garage and another mechanic from dealership but they are saying i they cant observe the fault again now (isnt that the definition of intermittent?!) And i will be liable for costs if they take the gear box apart and fail to find a fault (just under £900) – they keep talking about fault not beung covered under warranty but i keep pointing out it was a fault at time of purchase ie defectice goods, now they are saying take it to another VW dealership to investigate but they are the ones who sold it to me.

I did propose contributing to the investigation as they had the car for a week without progress on the basis if they found the fault i would get my money back but the cost they quoted went from £324 to the nearly £900!

Any ideas on where i stand/next steps?

Br Richard

My introduction to consumer issues was a reel-to-reel tape recorder that refused to misbehave when I took it back to the shop.

I don’t think you will get far unless you can prove that the fault exists, Richard, but if you manage the dealer should accept the date when you reported the fault rather than when they agree that there is a problem. I wonder if it would be possible to record the sound of the judder on a mobile phone. Juddering when pulling away can be due to a problem with the clutch or dual mass flywheel.

Mine too. I bought a radio-cassette player that chewed up tapes so took it back to the shop and asked for my money back. The shop refused but said I could choose another player. I asked for a demo with a cassette and after every player in the shop chewed up tapes, I got my money back. 🙂

I have this happen on an old car pulling away initially. It does not happen after that. The probability might be slightly unequal clutch springs, I was told. Mind you, it is on the original plate after 170 000m.

Catherine Davies says:
25 February 2020

I am not happy.

That’s a shame, Catherine – what’s the problem?

DONNA REARDON says:
26 February 2020

Can anyone else offer further advice…I have hair loss. I went to a hairdressers in Southport Merseyside to a person who offers a Hair Integration Service. It was agreed that this person would attach a hair topper to my head using the hair integration system. Included in the price was the hair topper that she said had to be made and the price for her applying the Integration Service…the total was £650 and the time scale she told me for the hair topper to be made would be 4 to 6 weeks. I asked her how she wanted to be paid…she asked for the total of £650 paid up front. I did think this was unfair as I believed I should have only paid money up front for the hair topper and the rest of the money then paid for Integration Service when done. I have proof of the money I paid through my bank account also an email receipt for moneys paid. I never heard anymore from her…in 4 weeks I have contacted her twice prompting an update. On the first prompting of communication she said she hoped the hair topper would be here soon. On the second prompting of communication…this week she told me there would be a delay…the reason for this was because of the Coronavirus..seemingly the factory had to shut down. Bearing in mind I have hair loss and not going out unless I have too…I have lost more hair and felt desperate. I prompted her to email whoever to find out how long the delay would be as she was not offering herself. She also asked me for photos of my further hair loss which I sent her yet found unacceptable. Yesterday she came back and told me the hair topper will not be ready until the end of March…I have told her I cannot wait that long and that I want a refund.
She said she has since sought advice from her Solicitor who advised she was not obligated to offer a refund as the delay was out of her control because of a unforseen world wide situation. She has offered me no alternative yet this is a Service Failure and I am within my rights to ask for a refund. Also now looking on her website…the procedures she SHOULD have followed for a bespoke service was never followed. The supplier of hair is using this as an excuse that…my hair topper is bespoke to me and cannot be used on anyone else….it is not. She was meant to take a piece of my hair and send if off to get my colour right…she didn’t. On first entering her salon she took a photo under lights not daylight on her mobile phone…the second time I entered her salon when I paid her up front she just asked a colleague to try match my hair colour with a hair swatch. She puts all the blame on the hair supplier in communication and makes no mention of the Hair Integration Service she was to provide once the hair arrived…I paid for two parts of a service. Citizens advice advised a template letter they have for Contract Breached and Consumer Rights advised on sending this letter and also contacting my bank to ask for a ‘charge back’ because I paid by Visa Debit Card. The bank cannot promise they will get my money back…it all depends on her terms and conditions.

Hi Donna – Here is some advice on the Which? website: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations#delivery-of-goods

It would have been easier to have dealt with this problem if you and the hairdresser had agreed on a delivery time and you had this in writing, because it would form part of your contract. If you have already waited longer than the maximum six weeks that was estimated and the hairdresser is still blaming the supplier you should certainly push for a full refund because they have not fulfilled their contract.

It would be worth collecting the facts and evidence, and contacting Citizens Advice, who should pass the case on to the local Trading Standards. Alternatively you could subscribe to the Which? Legal service and get personal advice: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/talk-to-an-adviser

I hope you get this sorted out soon.

IDS talking about food standards, chlorinated chicken and Brexit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JCsDeUgNbw

Nandos food standards

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51546881

so if you become ill from eating in a restaurant, what are your rights for compensation?

Here is advice from Which? https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/i-got-food-poisoning-while-eating-out-can-i-get-my-money-back

Choose restaurants with a food hygiene rating of 5 on the Food Standards Agency website.

Paul Clement says:
Today 01:16

Hiello, please can anybody help me with me current problem.

I purchased a new kitchen table and four chairs from a national store on the 9th of January. The order totalled £649, £50 of which was for delivery. When I purchased it, I was told by the sales lady that I would receive it at the beginning of February. Great I thought as I was redecorating my kitchen and needed the table and chairs to complete my project.

On the 24th of January I received a letter from the company stating there will be a delay in my order, and it was now due for delivery on the 28th of February. Reason for the delay was transportation problems with their supplier.

On the 22nd of February I received a voice message on my home phone from the company telling me that my order will be delayed again, and it is now ‘estimated’ that I will receive my order at the end of March !!!

I emailed the company to complain, as this delay will now add up to a 11 week wait at least, and that I wanted some sort of compensation or at the very least for the delivery charge of £50 to be refunded.

This has fallen on deaf ears, as the store insists there will be no compensation paid, and basically it is not their fault, but their suppliers. When I asked to cancel my order as I needed the kitchen furniture before the end of March, they have refused my order to cancel.

I do not know where to turn, as I thought my rights were that I was able to cancel if after 30 days the company have not fulfilled their obligation.

Please can anyone advise on where I stand.

Thank you,

Paul

Good Morning Paul

I am sorry to read of the delay that you are experiencing with the delivery of kitchen furniture. This is a significant delay and should certainly be acknowledged by the retailer as such.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 stipulates that if an agreed date for delivery is not met, then there is a breach of contract. Unfortunately, you cannot cancel your contract straight away unless the retailer is refusing to deliver or if you expressed delivery was necessary by a particular date to the retailer prior to purchase.

If you have not done so already, you may wish to write to the retailer and provide a final date by which you will accept delivery, failing which you will be cancelling the contract and requesting a refund of any money paid. We advise to put this in writing so that you have a paper trail of events moving forward. Within the letter you may also wish to ask for an amount of compensation for the inconvenience caused by the delay. However, there is no legal obligation for the retailer to provide this. Any amount of compensation offered would be done so on a goodwill gesture basis.

I do hope that you achieve a satisfactory resolution of this matter.

If you would like to discuss your situation in more detail or if anyone would like further advice on a similar situation, then please do get in touch with Which? Legal.

This information is provided by Which? Legal. To join call 01174 054 854 or visit Which? Legal to find out more.

Lauren Stacey
Lawyer FCILEx

Lauren’s reply shows the importance of agreeing a deadline for delivery goods, and presumably the same would apply in the case of new kitchens and extensions. I wonder how many companies would be prepared to agree to deadlines, since they could face considerable losses if let down by a supplier when the customer claims a full refund.

Maria says:
Today 12:39

Hi,

I purchased some made to measure blinds that are puckered where the cord pulls them up. The company have said that they are not faulty and should be raised right to the top where puckering would not show. Am I entitled to a refund?

Many thank in advance

Blinds should be designed [and made] to be fit for purpose in any position from fully open to fully closed and at all points in between. Some might argue that your right to a refund might depend on whether it is a functional fault or what might be considered a cosmetic impairment, but my view is that blinds also have a decorative function and should look right in all states.

If the making-up of the blinds has led to puckering then I suggest they are not of satisfactory quality – one of the three tests under the Cosumer Rights Act 2015. You should be able to claim a full refund if you do so within thirty days of taking ownership of the blinds. Beyond thirty days you have the right to claim a repair or replacement. The fact that your blinds are made-to-measure does not limit your rights. They should have been made with due care and diligence. Your rights are against the retailer.

For further guidance see the following Which? advice –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act