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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

I undertook the services of an organisation to settle a dispute between myself and my former employer. A settlement agreement was agreed and I was awarded a payout. The terms of the agreement stated that my former employer would pay the settlement in instalments to my representative. I signed the terms of agreement which stated that my representative would receive the first six months of instalments to cover their fee for mediation and representation services after which my representative would continue to receive the subsequent payments transferring them to me. Two months had passed after my representative had received their fee and I questioned them about why I had not received anything from them. My representative told me that they were having “problems with their account” and the money had been “swallowed up” in their finances. I immediately contacted my former employer and managed to stop further payments being made to my representative and I am now receiving the remaining instalments directly. My representative now has £3,000 of my settlement which they have said they can’t afford to pay back and they are tying to arrange a loan to return it. I have since found out from public documents that my representative is not a relevant independent advisor as required by law to advise on settlement agreements. They claimed to be a trade union which they are not. I’m also citing a breach of the settlement agreement drawn up by the representative that states that they would transfer any payments they receive from my former employer immediately after clearance. My now former representative is disputing this. Can you please advise me on what are my rights are and what action I could take? Thank you in advance.

I had a wickes kitchen fitted in march. The cupboards have started to peel. The suppliers are saying it’s due to excess water and therefore isn’t covered under the guarantee. I’ve explained it’s a kitchen and I clean my kitchen every day as you would. I’m awaiting a reply, but what are my rights if they still refuse to fix it

Hi Lynn – You have statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act, which are explained on the Which? website: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product Your guarantee is in addition to these rights

The company can refuse a claim on the basis of abuse, but kitchen cupboards should be capable of withstanding regular cleaning with a wet cloth for years. After six months the responsibility is to prove that the cupboards are not fit for purpose and you might need to pay for an expert’s report to examine your kitchen to obtain support for your claim.

Hopefully Wickes will deal with the problem but it might be worth subscribing to Which? Legal for advice.

Thankyou for your help. I’m hoping they will just rectify the problem. Thanks for your fed back.

Please let us know how you get on, Lynn. I’ve not seen many complaints about Wickes.

We had a 4 camera Cctv system installed in March. In early September we noticed there were gaps in the recordings. The NVR was changed for a new one but soon after the colour went on two of the cameras. These were the changes for two new cameras. Within days all four cameras started playing up. All four cameras then started playing up. We told the installers that we had had enough and wanted our money back to which we were told “That’s just going to happen. We will change the cameras. You haven’t given us chance to put it right” .
Where do we stand with this

I am hoping for some advice please. I bought a new toilet and it was fitted last September, so 15 months ago. Within about three months, I noticed that the enamel was pitted in a couple of places on the rim, and this has now started to peel off completely in about 12-15 places, exposing the rough porcelain underneath. The biggest patch is about the size of a 10p coin. I have contacted the seller, who after some prompting has offered a replacement. Obviously the replacement will carry costs to remove the damaged wc and refit, regrout etc. The seller has refused to pay for this, saying we should just keep the new wc ‘as a spare’, he has had enough bother getting the replacement from the manufacturer, and that the damage was probably caused by cleaning products. What are my rights here? The refit is probably going to cost as much as the replacement.

In would suggest that you give some details of the actual brand and product as other people can then report if they are also suffering from the same problem. if it is a common fault then you and others may feel a replacement may not actually be a good answer.

I find it difficult to believe that household cleaning products could damage a toilet bowl unless an abrasive cleaner was used and the instructions stated that these must be avoided.

I agree with Patrick that it is useful to name the brand and model and also to do a web search to see if the problem has been reported elsewhere.

I’m not sure about whether our consumer rights cover fitting of replacement products but Which? Legal reported a recent case where someone had successfully claimed for water damage when a new but faulty radiator was supplied. If you have paid a company to supply and fit the toilet I suggest making a claim against that company.

I have never seen the glaze on a ceramic product fail by peeling off. Flaking maybe if it has been badly processed. Maybe that was not the finish used? I suspect all the retailer is obliged to do is remedy the product and not be liable for contingent losses but, as wavechange suggests, if you paid a contractor to supply and fit the product then they may be liable to replace the toilet, including installation. Unless there is evidence of physical damage I’d assume the fault was present from new and therefore subject to remedy under the Consumer Rights Act.

I was given a gift Travel Voucher for Christmas last year. It was for 200 Euros to Spend on A Ryanair Flight. But due to COVID-19 have been unable to use. It runs out on the 26/12/2020 i have contacted Ryanair and asked if they would extend the expirary date so we could use it next year but they said no.
Is there anything i can do as i think its not my fault and its not really fit for purpose.

Vouchers should have no expiry date. The provider has been given the money and should not be allowed to keep it and not honour the voucher, COVID or not. They should be regulated, perhaps by the FCA.

Hi Andy – Which? has published various Conversations about travel and vouchers. I suggest you read the introduction to this one: https://conversation.which.co.uk/travel-leisure/cancelled-flight-airline-refund-voucher-coronavirus/ It mentions the possibilities of recovering your money from your credit card company or bank.

Thanks for your message. It really doesn’t fit with this as the voucher was purchased as a present to use on any flight we decided to book this year. we dont even want a refund just an extended expiary date so we can use it next year

I should have mentioned that whoever had paid for the vouchers would have to make a claim to recover the money from the card company. I’m not sure what to suggest but when faced with unhelpful shop staff I have had success when someone else was on duty.

Maybe someone else can advise or refer you to a Convo where this has been discussed.

Jeff Whittle says:
17 December 2020

I bought an extractor fan online and had it fitted in my kitchen after a few days the extractor became very noisy and was vibrating. I emailed the online retailer to lodge my complaint, they replied asking me to send a video of the item in operation. They then replied the the item was faulty and they would send out a replacement. I have asked them about having the item refitted by the same people that fitted the original and if they would pay for the refit because the item was faulty.
They replied that the warranty only covers the item.
Is this correct as I think they should pay because the item they supplied was faulty.

Hi Jeff – If you had paid a company to supply and fit the extractor fan I expect that they would have replaced it without question. There is a similar question to yours above: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/consumer-rights-complaints-faulty-problems/#comment-1614521 I wonder if Which? Legal would comment.

I believe you are only entitled to have the product repaired or replaced (or refunded if within 30 days). Any consequential losses, such as removal, reinstallation may have to be claimed separately as damages. I hope Which? will tell us.

Maggie piper says:
17 December 2020

I bought a mattress from dreams in oct 2018 the cost £650.00 it has developed a large crater in the middle a technician came out and agreed the mattress was definitely fauly and the springs had collasped I weigh around 9 stone, dreams are insisting I have it replaced, I dont want a replacement and have asked for either I keep the mattress and use it as a base, and have a partial refund or a cheaper matteres and a refund of the difference, I have had to place a cheaper matteress on top of this as its now been going on for some 2 months . Who is right? Dreams or me thank you.Maggie

Maggie – The faulty mattress is now over two years old and the retailer has offered to replace it at no cost yourself. So far as I can see that is a fair and reasonable offer that discharges the company’s obligations under the Consumer Rights Act without opening any further potential liabilities for itself if it supplied an alternative mattress. It will put you back in the position you would have been in if the first mattress had not been defective, except that you will now have a newer mattress. I do not think the retailer can be expected to accommodate your personal wishes if it declines to do so.

Hi, I bought a Fitbit 2.5 years ago from QVC. The screen has stopped working making it unusable. I wrote the to QVC to ask for a repair, replacement or refund as as I feel that the watch which was a substantial amount of money should last a reasonable amount of time and I believe it should last longer than this. I quoted the sale of goods act. They have replied to say they only offer a one year warranty and I have to contact Fitbit as it’s no longer their responsibility. Is this right?

QVC, as the retailer, are responsible under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Your contract is with them, not the manufacturer, and they cannot deny your rights, otherwise they can be prosecuted. (The Sale of Goods Act only applied until Sept 2015).

Problems with a screen may be solved by a forced restart, for example. Have you looked online at fitbit screen problems? Or asked the manufacturer?

If nothing makes it work then you need to show either the fault was there from new – difficult – but check online to see if others have experienced similar failures. Alternatively you can argue that the watch lacked reasonable durability, given its price; “durability” is another requirement of the CRA but not easy to support. Again you might learn from other peoples experiences online whether this product fails earlier than expected. You can also copy in the manufacturer who may use goodwill to help.

All I can add to what Malcolm has said is that some portable devices are very easily damaged, for example by water ingress or dropping, and if evidence was found, that would invalidate a claim.

A common form of goodwill is a discount on a electronic products. It might be worth pushing QVC for this because they have denied you what are your statutory rights. Please let us know how you get on, Annabelle.

Thank you I will look into it further.

Thank you I will look into it further.

I definitely didn’t damage it and you can go swimming with it on which I do very rarely. The night before the screen disappeared it kept freezing. I will see what I can find out online. Thank you

https://community.fitbit.com/t5/Other-Versa-Smartwatches/Versa-screen-not-working/td-p/2792989/page/4
There are 4 pages of faults with the screen. It seems that if you are within the 1 year warranty Fitbit send you a replacement. If not they will give you 25% of anithe product. I have tried the reset like many others but this didn’t work. Watch works, syncs with phone and vibrates but I can’t see the screen and it’s a blank dark blue colour.

There are also a lot of you tube videos with A LOT of views on ideas of how to fix your blank screen. Here is an example https://youtu.be/z8zkE20NSmE

Hi Annabelle – Best of luck with QVC if you cannot find a solution. The reason I mentioned water damage is that many mobile phone claims have been turned down because of water ingress. Nowadays many are water-resistant – like your Fitbit.

I had not seen your last two posts which were probably delayed until the links were approved. I’m sorry to hear that you have not managed to find a solution.

Fitness trackers do not seem very long lived. Most seem to develop a fault after 3 years, although, according to Which?, screen problems is not a common fault.
https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/fitness-trackers/article/most-reliable-fitness-tracker-brands-ahYfJ4g14lCJ
They don’t seem to offer value for money when they can cost over £150.

I would be tempted to head a complaint ‘Fitbit – Not fit for purpose’.

The graph in the Which? article suggests that fitness trackers tested all fail within five years, which looks like planned obsolescence.

UnFitbit.

Bought a washing machine with a 5 year manufacturer on site warranty. 2 years and 5 days later it failed which brought to light the fact that for the full 5 years it needed to be registered with the manufacturer for this to happen. But no paperwork had been supplied with the machine to tell me this. The manufacturer repaired the machine for good customer relations under normal warranty
on-site. The supplier agreed to cover the remaining 3 years and admitted it was their fault, about the lack of information, but they never sent any information relating to the additional 3 years they were now covering it for.
It failed again the other day. On phoning the supplier, to report the fault, was told that we have to collect the machine. At no time was I ever told by the supplier of this change in the warranty terms and conditions and that it would now only be repaired off-site.
Should I have been told about the changes and/or any ideas of how to go forward would be much appreciated.

Hello Mr Elens,

I am sorry to hear of your issue with the washing machine.

There are two separate issues here.

Firstly, it is important to note that you have separate statutory rights against the retailer under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. These are separate to any manufacturer’s warranty.

Technically, the supplier should be given the first opportunity to repair or replace the machine free of charge. The basis for this argument is that the retailer has supplied you goods which may not be of satisfactory quality and not fit for purpose as expected by the above referenced Act.

With regards to the warranty, I agree that you should have been provided with adequate information about its registration. The supplier has taken the correct step to admit liability and cover the remaining period.

In terms of the latest fault, we have to be clear what claim we will be making. If it is under the warranty then the Terms and Conditions cannot change or be altered. As you are approaching the retailer there is an argument that this claim may be under the Act and therefore they may need to take the unit in order to inspect and repair the existing fault. Another important point to mention here is that under your statutory rights you have 6 years (5 in Scotland) to bring a breach of contract claim against the retailer.

I appreciate that it can be difficult to distinguish between a warranty claim and a consumer rights claim but I do hope that the above information is of some assistance.

If you do require any further tailored legal advice then please call in to Which? Legal to explore your 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

Hello, I bought a Zanussi gas cooker online from Hughes.co.uk. Delivery was free but Hughes did not offer installation so I employed a local gas fitter (cost £85). Immediately on completing installation it was found that the hob burners would ignite but not stay lit. I informed the supplier who offered a replacement but they could not deliver that for another 6 days. So I requested a repair from the maker under the warranty. That too could not be provided for six days. When the repair engineer arrived he said he had seen others of this model with the same fault and replacing the affected part took two hours with no guarantee of success. He rang Zanussi’s technical dept for advice and I heard the Zanussi engineer admit that they had issues with the wiring of this model and advise that we should reject the cooker for a refund. Accordingly I did that. Hughes accepted the request but had no suitable alternative model available so I bought one from another supplier. Naturally I had to pay another £85 for the installation of the replacement.

Since there is no way of finding out if a new cooker is working before installing it, am I entitled to claim the cost of the installation of the faulty cooker from Hughes, as well as the cost of the faulty cooker?

Hi Roger – If you had paid for a company to supply and fit the cooker you would be entitled under the Consumer Rights to a reject the cooker for a full refund including the cost of fitting: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/section/15 It seems likely that they would offer free replacement or repair as an alternative.

As far as I know, the retailer is not under any obligation to offer any reimbursement if you had a separate contract for installation. Had they been able to offer a suitable replacement it would have been worth trying to get them to give you a goodwill discount to offset your extra costs.

If you have bought another Zanussi cooker then it might be worth contacting the manufacturer and they might offer goodwill since you have had to pay £85 because there is a fault in one of their products. Best of luck.

We have had recent examples asking a similar question – if a product is purchased, you pay someone other than the seller to install it and the product proves to be faulty, is the retailer obliged to help with the cost of reinstallation? I think, under the Consumer Rights Act, the answer is no, but other legislation may provide a route to recovering costs.

@gmartin, George, I may have missed it but, if not, could Which? provide an answer please?

Thanks for this advice, wavechange. I only used my own installer because the supplier did not offer installation owing to Covid (or so it was implied). I’ll try asking them for a refund of the cost but without great hopes. I bought another make of cooker, being disgusted that Zanussi had continued selling this model despite knowing that many had a wiring fault, a point I shall make in my review of the cooker.

Hi again. If you are to have a chance of getting any money back it might be best to write to Zanussi, a brand now owned by Electrolux. My strategy would be express disappointment and to mention that the service engineer had mentioned seeing other examples of the same problem. If you do a web search for the make and model number you might find other examples of the fault.

Perhaps it would be worth delaying the review until you have a reply.

You could subscribe to Which? Legal for some professional advice.

Thanks again Wavechange. That seems very sensible advice. I’ll try that.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015, as one of its contract conditions, requires products to last a reasonable time without fault – be ” reasonably durable”, given their cost and use. It is usually argued this is too vague to use to make a claim. I believe it simply requires collecting appropriate data to see what people’s general experience of products is – time to a fault and service life. Simple in principle, but requires the collection and interpretation of data. When we know what happens in practice with existing products that seems to me a good basis to decide what is acceptable when products fail – are they well outside the norm one should expect?

Which? seem to be collecting plenty if this data. We have seen it on laptops, phones, tvs. Here we see it on large kitchen appliances
https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/12/the-appliances-that-last-the-longest/
For example, average lives of washing machines range from 13 to 21 years for different brands (and prices) but more important is the time to stay fault-free – ranging from 38 to 95% after 6 years.
For fridge freezers – average lives 14 to 24 years, fault free after 5 years ranging from 85 to 100%.

Surely the basis for deciding when a product has failed too early? In particular, it should address the problem, often reported, of people whose appliance has failed just out of guarantee – after just 1 to 3 years – and the retailer refuses to help. Those failures are normally simply unacceptably short lived and redress should be provided under the CRA.

I hope Which? will develop this data and begin to help people with durability claims, even if taken to court. Once they start I suspect retailers will be less uncooperative when they see precedents.

Shirley Porter says:
21 December 2020

I bought clothes from a fashion website that did not fit, after consultation with the company they agreed I could return them. The amount I paid for the goods was £65.59. Add the postal cost which was £11.00 = £76.59.
They are only willing to pay £44.18.
I need to know what are my Consumer Rights.
Regards
Shirley Porter

Hi Shirley – As long as you have acted promptly you are entitled to a full refund including standard postage. To quote Which?

“Refunding the cost of delivery
The trader has to refund the basic delivery cost of getting the goods to you in the first place, so if you opted for enhanced service eg guaranteed next day, it only has to refund the basic cost.”

There are more details here: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations

If they prove difficult you can say you will contact Citizens Advice.

Hi Shirley,

I am sorry to hear of your issues with these clothes.

I agree with wavechange, as these clothes were purchased from a website then as long as you are within 14 days of receiving the items you have the right to return the items for no reason under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you should be entitled to a refund including the basic cost of delivery. You will not be entitled to a refund of an enhanced cost of delivery if you opted for this at the time of buying.

It is very strange that the Company has only offered £44,18. This does not make sense as it is below the purchase price of the goods alone.

I suggest you write to the Company and set out your statutory rights. This will hopefully put further pressure on them and may explain why they have offered what appears to be a made up figure.

I hope the information above is of assistance. If you do require any further advice, then please do call in to 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

Asking on behalf of someone I know

She bought an expensive tablet a year or two ago. I think it’s a oled screen

The screen now has fairly bad fading or burnout in three quarters of it. Everything in the affected areas looks faded and dark, including white

Does the Consumer Rights Act cover this kind of thing? Pictures and videos don’t look as they should

Your friend could make a claim against the retailer under the Consumer Rights Act: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product Sometimes retailers can be unhelpful and she might want to subscribe to Which? Legal for help. See the post from Evgeni Hristov, above.

wavechange, there’s personal info on the tablet. My friend is worried that if the tablet is returned for a refund, there’ll be identity theft and other problems

Is it necessary to return it to the retailer when claiming under the Consumer Rights Act, or is it enough to simply show the screen?

Hi a. It would be necessary to back-up the data and then wipe everything from the machine. A ‘factory reset’ is easy but data could still be recoverable. At least your friend still has a working tablet and could find out what needs to be done to erase everything. There is plenty of information online.

Making a claim under the CRA more than six months after purchase may require the owner to provide evidence that the fault was present at the time of purchase or claim that the product has not lasted as long as could reasonably be expected. A repair would be the best solution because that would cost nothing, whereas a refund would be partial and take into account the price and how long the product had been owned. I cannot see any solution that does not involve returning the tablet.

David Mitchell says:
30 December 2020

I purchased a divan bed from Bedworld online. In their terms and conditions they say there will be a charge of £79 to collect it if I want to return it. The base is not very well made. Delivery was a nightmare. They claim that their beds are of good quality. This has proved not to be the case. I paid £351.12p via PayPal. Am I entitled to a full refund

Hi David – As long as you act promptly you can return the bed and Bedworld should not charge for collection. Here is advice on the Which? website: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations It is illegal for the company to mislead you regarding your legal rights.

Best of luck.

According to Bedworld’s website: “If you require a refund because you have cancelled the Contract between us within the seven-day cooling-off period (see Clause 6 of our full Terms & Conditions) either by email or writing, we will process the refund due to you as soon as possible and, in any case, within 30 days of the day you have given notice of your cancellation and collect the Goods from your premises as soon as practicable. In this case, we will refund the price of the Goods in full, including the cost of delivery to you (if any). However, there is a charge of £79 per item this is to cover the cost of delivery and collection fee, providing the item is in the original packaging.” https://www.bedworld.net/returns-policy/

I wonder if anyone from Which? would be prepared to comment on this.

If the bed is agreed faulty then there would be no return delivery charge. However if you simply choose to return the bed then you are liable for the return charge, unless the supplier stats otherwise.. You can choose your own carrier, as far as I am aware, which could well be cheaper than Bedworld’s charge.

I bought a iPhone 12 mini from affordable mobile and decided I would like the 12 instead and they are refusing to help me cause it’s past 14 days after receiving the item, even though it was a Christmas present so I’ve only just received it. Any help would be much appreciated

Hi Kevin – Unfortunately the law requires retailer to allow only fourteen days in which to return goods, though many companies voluntarily extend this at Christmas. Had the phone been bought online directly from Apple between 10 November and Christmas it could have been returned up to 8 January.

When shopping for Christmas gifts it’s best to look for an extended returns period unless you are certain you know what the recipient wants.

Stephen says:
1 January 2021

My warranty provider has told me that my expensive, 3 year old OLED TV cannot be repaired and have offered me by email “a brand new model to replace it”, with a “Get my replacement” link for me to follow. I am concerned that by using this link, and looking at the replacement that they offer, I might lose any rights I may have to take further action elsewhere if I consider their offer to be unreasonable. I have now tried twice, by email to their customer care department, to get them to understand my position, but I have only received standard, non-comital replies. Should I now go ahead and look at their offer, or should I continue to insist that first they accept my right to challenge their offer?

Debra mac says:
2 January 2021

My son bought a motorcycle on line for his son, it got delivered to the wrong address & luckily rejected but on return to the selling company it was damaged. Once he tracked it down the company said he gave the wrong address (debatable) & requested another £45 for it to be sent out again following repair (original postage was only £26) which he paid so it would arrive in time for birthday/xmas, all this happened late nov early December. On my sons behalf I have sent the company 20 odd emails asking about repair/despatch etc..I even suggested we could drive the 65 miles to collect it rather than have a upset child at xmas… although their replies are polite I feel as though we’re getting nowhere, I know it’s a difficult time for companies & I am trying to be patient, obviously it didn’t arrive before xmas. What do you think is a reasonable amount of time we should allow before asking for a refund ( which we don’t want, we would prefer to receive the item)
We would appreciate some consumer advise on this issue
Thank you debra

Hi Debra – I suggest you ask for a full refund so that you can buy a motorcycle elsewhere. If you want to give the company a last chance you could give the company a deadline of a week to deliver it but I don’t see why you should be expected to pay full price for a motorcycle that has been damaged and repaired.

If the company does not cooperate you could subscribe to Which? Legal for advice. Best of luck.

Debra, it seems to me this hinges around where the motorcycle was sent in the first place. You say the company claim he gave the wrong address; you say this is debatable, as if they might be correct. If they sent it to the wrong address they are responsible for supplying you a brand new motorcycle. If the wrong address was given to them then I believe that is your son’s responsibility. Can you resolve the doubt?

I ordered a brand new Samsung S20 direct from the manufacturer 15 September 2020, by the end of November I noticed a fault with the screen where letters seemed to blink, I reported the fault to Samsung and they suggested a factory reset ( which didn’t work) I requested a replacement phone, they refused and said I needed a repair, 3rd December I booked a repair, new screen, battery and some parts were replaced but the fault returned. I again requested a replacement but they again refused. 31st December I had a second repair, but phone was returned with scratches to the screen. Samsung refuses to replace the handset and insists I accept the 3rd repair. I am not happy with 3 repairs to my phone within the first 3 months. Can I insist on a new phone or refund?

Hi Anne – You have statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act which take precedence over any guarantee offered by the manufacturer. The retailer (which is the same as the manufacturer) has one attempt to repair a fault and you are now entitled to a new phone or a refund. You can see this in this advice from Which? https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/what-do-i-do-if-i-have-a-faulty-product

Please let us know what Samsung has to say.

Thank you, I have emailed Samsung again quoting your advice. I will update with their reply as soon as they reply.

Thanks Anne. It’s always interesting to hear the outcome of problems posted on Which? Conversation. I hope this is resolved soon.

Hi wavechange, after radio silence from Samsung I called them again today and they flat refused to replace my phone or refund. Seems Samsung are “above” the Consumer rights act. I am being forced to accept another repair to my 3 month old phone. I told them the act clearly says one repair, but they still refuse a replacement. I am not happy with the outcome and feel I am being bullied and had no option but to accept the repair, otherwise put up with a damaged phone. Moral of the story is chose a different phone next time.

Hi again Anne – I am very sorry that Samsung are letting you down. Perhaps it would be worth subscribing to Which? Legal for help with persuading the company to comply with the law: https://legalservice.which.co.uk You don’t have to be a Which? subscriber to use the service.

R Turner says:
2 January 2021

I purchased a heated throw online by credit card and received a underblanket I sent email to the company but it could not be delivered it failed. How do I find out if this company exists as there is no address etc for me to return the item I received. What are my rights

R Turner – You first need to establish where your payment went so I suggest you contact your credit card issuer. The value of the product might be less than the £100 minimum applicable under s.75 of the Consumer credit Act 2015 for joint liability but the credit card company should nevertheless be able to trace the payment for you and supply you with the name and address of the seller. You would then be able to exercise your Consumer Rights [so far as practicable if the seller is a UK trader],

The product supplied is clearly not as described and you therefore have rights to a refund or satisfactory replacement if you act quickly. See the following Which? guidance to the Consumer Rights Act –
https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-rights-act

Who did you buy the throw from, R Turner? If your efforts to contact them have failed you could make a chargeback claim against your card provider: https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/how-do-i-use-chargeback As John has said you can only make a Section 75 claim against a credit card company if the cost of the goods is £100 or greater but that does not apply to chargeback claims against debit or credit card companies.

Agreed, Wavechange. I tend to overlook chargeback and regard it as a last resort. Unlike s.75 of CCA 1974, it has no statutory backing, is entirely discretionary, there are no recognisable protocols that can reassure card-holders about how a claim will be handled, and each card-issuer has their own rules which are not publicly accessible [so far as I am aware]. Their are hundreds of different credit card types in use each with their own chargeback scheme, or none. Cards issued by companies within the same group might not have the same limits or qualifications and there are no guarantees that the claims process will be handled objectively. The adequacy of the chargeback facility is just one of the many market discriminators used to attract users alongside interest rates, repayment terms, purchase insurance, etc.

I cannot recall Which? taking any deeper interest in the chargeback system or how it works for different card issuers. I think it should be added to the list of future investigations – if there is a general problem, that is; it might be that it works OK so a little exploration via Connect might not come amiss in the first instance.

I have not needed to make a chargeback or Section 75 claim, but I agree that it would be useful for Which? to give us more information, John. There is not much official information about chargeback: https://www.gov.uk/invoicing-and-taking-payment-from-customers/payment-obligations Here is some information from Visa: https://www.visa.co.uk/how-you-pay-matters/chargeback-purchase-disputes.html

The more I read about what happens when one orders items/services/holidays online the more convinced I am that the I am doing the correct thing by avoiding this mode of transacting as much as possible.

The common denominator is of course you part with your money first. Better to pay last.
Hope I am not being rude to anybody or throwing a spanner in the works or possibly being off topic.
Wishing everybody a Happier New Year than the last one.

I agree with you, Dave. In some cases there is a valid reason for paying a partial charge before goods and services are supplied, for example when ordering goods made to order or booking a holiday, but why should we be expected to part with money before goods in stock are despatched?

I wish you a Happy New Year 2021 too. 🙂

We do need to check the authenticity of a vendor first. Legitimate address, landline phone (give them a ring), email, reviews, for example. If in doubt then don’t proceed.

The only time I have had a problem buying online was from Birco, which I wrote about two years ago: https://conversation.which.co.uk/shopping/online-delivery-problem-contact/#comment-1555163 Judging by what I can find now, I had a near miss.

I am prepared to risk small amounts of money buying from eBay sellers but I look for ones that are based in the UK and so far I cannot recall having any problems. eBay can sometimes be the only source of obsolete spare parts.