Even when you’ve had years of use from a product you might still be able to get a refund if it goes wrong. That’s exactly what Which? Legal helped Peter achieve after his shower broke three years later.
Just because you’ve had a product for some time, it’s easy to assume that it’s not worth trying to claim money back when it goes wrong.
However, three years after Which? member Peter Enright replaced his bathroom he was still able, with our help, to get a full refund (and £150 extra) when the shower unit stopped working.
Claiming on a faulty shower
The shower was installed in May 2010 and worked perfectly until the end of September 2013, when it intermittently stopped giving hot water. Peter contacted Grohe customer services and was told the shower was covered by a five-year warranty and he’d get a full refund (by returning it) if the company couldn’t get it working again. Grohe sent out an independent engineer and following further failures he was offered an exchange control unit, if it became faulty again. It stopped working shortly after, but seemed alright again on 10 December.
Peter went to spend Christmas with his family and came back to find the shower only gave cold water. His plumber advised buying a new one, so Peter asked Grohe for a refund. The faulty unit was collected on 7 February but no refund arrived.
Our legal advice
Peter contacted our legal experts in late February for help. We said that as he’d been promised a refund he should write to say that he planned to issue legal proceedings to recover the refund.
Peter emailed the CEO of Grohe. A Grohe employee responded at 9am the next morning offering to pay the refund directly into his bank account. Shortly after a director from Grohe telephoned to offer £150 goodwill payment as compensation for the inconvenience that was caused.
What the law says…
Some goods and services have a guarantee or warranty from the manufacturer or service provider to sort out faults. It’s legally enforceable and defines what they’re prepared to do. You may need the warranty documents in a dispute. Peter’s warranty was extensive and gave the right to a refund. This won’t be true of all warranties.
A warranty doesn’t replace your rights under the Sale of Goods Act, which may give you more options. It says goods must be of satisfactory quality, which includes durability. Sale of Goods Act rights are against a retailer; guarantee claims tend to go to a manufacturer.