You’d expect a plant bought from a garden centre to thrive, but what if it doesn’t? Have you tried to take a plant back to a retailer and, if so, were you given a replacement or a refund?
If I didn’t work at Which?, it probably wouldn’t occur to me to take a plant back if it didn’t grow very well. I’d probably blame myself, or put it down to experience. But according to our research into plant returns, it’s definitely worth doing.
We surveyed almost 1,000 Which? members to find out about their experiences, and the good news is that it’s definitely worth taking a plant back if you’re not happy with it.
Only a fifth of those who had experienced problems had tried to return a plant, but those who did were pleased with the outcome. Six in ten received a replacement and about a fifth received a refund. Only one in ten shoppers were refused any kind of compensation.
The growth of plant guarantees
Many garden centres now offer guarantees on hardy plants, some as long as five years. Under the Sale of Goods Act you can take a plant back without a guarantee, but the advantage of a guarantee is that it gives you more time – if you’ve waited for it to flower or fruit, for example.
In this picture you can see the guarantees offered by major garden retailers, and what you’ll need to show them. ‘Proof of purchase’ is anything that shows where a specific item was bought. A receipt is the best example, but it may include an email confirmation and possibly a credit-card statement (although this will only show the trader’s name, the date of purchase and the amount paid, not the product details).
We’d love to know if you’ve ever taken a plant back, and how you got on. Were you offered a replacement or a refund, and were you happy with the outcome?