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?
28/02/2019: consumer rights misconceptions
In 2018, 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 sea view you’d booked.
But others were a lot more confusing.
Is a landlord responsible for repairing a property?
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.
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.
“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.
Your consumer rights questions answered
Click or tap on each to expand
I purchased a faulty appliance and the retailer replaced it with another faulty appliance. How can I get a working appliance?
A purchase from Curry’s on 31st January resulted in 2 faulty fridges, both returned To date I am waiting for the 3rd delivery and after 3 email complaints, 3 webchats ( copied for evidence)and 1 phone call, I still have no fridge.
As per the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to ask for the fridge to be either repaired or replaced. This should be done within a reasonable amount of time and without significant inconvenience. Eventually, you can also exercise your final right to reject. This means asking for a refund as Curry’s has not delivered a working fridge to you within a reasonable amount of time. Unfortunately, the law does not provide guidance as to what is regarded as “reasonable.” This will be a question of fact.
It is worth putting your concerns in writing and send a hard copy letter to the Company’s registered address.
Can a parcel delivery firm avoid paying compensation for a parcel lost in transit?
myHermes provides a parcel delivery service. They have introduced a new category, ‘postable’ parcels, (max 23x35x3cm) that can fit a standard letter box. However, unlike their other parcels, they provide NO COVER for loss or damage in transit. So I emailed them and there reply is: “As it is a ‘stripped back’ service we are also not offering compensation if any get lost or damaged in our network.” Is that legal?
According to James from Which? Legal:
Despite what the terms and conditions of the contract stipulate the trader is responsible for performing the service with reasonable care and skill. This is a term implied into your contract for services.
Further, consumer law states that a term of a contract that would attempt to exclude a traders liability for an implied term such as reasonable care and skill would not be binding on the consumer.
For this reason, despite what is advertised they cannot render a service poorly and escape liability.
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.
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.