/ Shopping

The big faulty goods fob off

Shopping cartoon

With Christmas just around the corner, you might be shopping for new tech, be it a TV or laptop. Most will come with a one- or two-year warranty, but do retailers know your rights if a fault develops after this?

Did you know that if your tech develops a fault later in life, you might still be able to get the retailer to repair or replace it, even if the warranty has expired?

Under the Sale of Goods Act, goods must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If you find a fault with your product before it would be reasonably be expected to do so you can claim against the store rather than the manufacturer, even beyond the warranty. And you have six years to take a claim to court for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; in Scotland you have five years.

However, we found some of the biggest UK retailers fobbing off customers by giving incorrect information on their rights.

Going undercover into stores

In our latest undercover investigation, we rigged up a team of mystery shoppers with recording devices to find out what customers are being told by shop staff about their rights.

Our mystery shoppers visited or called popular online and high street retailers on 12 occasions – including the likes of Amazon, Currys, Apple and John Lewis. Our shoppers ask what they should do with a faulty laptop or TV that was bought from that store, but was just out of warranty. You can see what happened in our undercover video:


Do retailers know your rights?

In 56 out of the 72 visits staff gave a clear impression that we didn’t have any rights against the retailer or referred us to the manufacturer. Of the 12 calls made to Amazon, nine were rated very poor by our consumer lawyer, while both John Lewis and Argos had seven visits rated as very poor.

Our investigation found that Amazon, Argos, Euronics and John Lewis could be breaching consumer protection regulations because information given by their staff was misleading. This could leave people out of pocket if they pay to get items repaired themselves when the retailer could be responsible, depending on the circumstances.

Currys and Apple were ranked the highest in our investigation, but both still only received satisfactory ratings for five of the 12 visits on the information we were given. None of the retailers scored an excellent rating.

Have you tried to return a faulty product?

Our latest survey found just one in five people correctly said that the retailer could be responsible for a faulty product after the warranty’s expired. So stores must ensure that their staff are giving the correct information.

We put our findings to the retailers and will be following up our research over the coming months to help ensure you’re consistently getting the correct information from staff.

In the meantime we want to know if you’ve been in a similar situation. Have you ever tried to get a faulty product repaired or replaced by a retailer after the warranty has expired?

John Emerson says:
27 December 2013

You may have read in the National Press about a man who bought a JG Smart TV and was surprised, soon after installation to find that he was personally being targeted with adverts. Being an expert in IT he somehow monitored the TV’s performance via his computer to prove that the TV was in fact spying on him.
He took this up at first with the retailer and then with JG who initially denied any knowledge of this but eventually JG admitted that they do in fact monitor what we are up to to target us with adverts that may be of interest. Samsung have now admitted that they do the same.
There was a suggestion that these smart TV’s also have built in micro cameras to monitor our behaviour.
What are the laws on privacy?. Surely this sort of thing ranks alongside unwanted phone calls, where is this constant spying going to end?
Why do TV, Smart Phone etc., manufacturers believe that we need to be bombarded with this rubbish? Of course if this is all true these TV’s are a godsend to the public offices who seem to have a desperate need to spy on us all.
I understand a further problem with Smart TV’s is that you can’t download security software onto them and therefore you could be very vulnerable to hacking.
Perhaps Which? could investigate what is going on.

I assume you meant an LG smart TV – never heard of JG. If this kind of spying is in fact going on via smart TVs, it is indeed worrying, though given that a smart TV is best thought of as an extension to your computer, then it is perhaps not very surprising. As you say, this needs a thorough investigation by Which?, so that we can all find out exactly what is going on, what the implications are etc. Also – this is too big an issue to confine the information to Which? readers, it needs much wider publicity.

I bought a top-of-the-range ASUS laptop from a business called Trade Direct UK via Amazon.
Within 9 months the machine failed.
The machine has a 1 year warranty.but the seller, despite being asked, has not provided an invoice.
ASUS say they will repair the machine but need an invoice as proof of purchase.
With no positive response from the seller, I asked Amazon for the address of Trade Direct UK.
Their response is we only have their e-mail address.
Surely Amazon are obliged to ensure that the sellers using their facilities abide by the Distance Selling Regulations…?
Can anybody offer any advice in this respect…?

Amazon show a telephone number for this company – listed under tradedirect.me details

The distance selling regulations certainly do apply – and you do not need to deal with Asus, the manufacturer. Your contract for the transaction was with the seller, Trade Direct UK. There should have been a packing note supplied with the laptop when it was delivered, showing their details, but after all this time, it has no doubt been mislaid, but you should be able to track them down, perhaps through the payment record, via your bank. Trade Direct will certainly have a record of the sale and if you paid by credit card, then the card issuer has equal responsibility for the goods purchased. Good luck.

If you made the order online via Amazon did you not get a confirmation email of your order/invoice.

Robert says:
2 January 2014

I once bought some engine oil from the Derby branch of Halfords I told assistant my registration number of my car and they got the oil that I needed . When I got home I put some of the oil into my cars engine and noticed it was a different colour to what I normally use so I went on their website and did a check myself and noticed they’d given me completely synthetic engine oil instead of part mineral part synthetic. So I went to my local branch of Halfords in Ilkeston and told them and they refused to swap it because he was not bought from their store as it had been open so I had to drive all the way back to Derby to get it changed

Fully synthetic oil is better for your engine than mineral or part synthetic, part mineral. It will cost more of course, but it offers the best protection. Of course, you need to ensure you buy the right grade, as recommended by the car manufacturer, but most now recommend fully synthetic. It is, however, surprising that Halfords would not exchange the oil, just because it was a different branch.

In an earlier conversation I mentioned a problem with a well known brand of a ladies’ watch that cost around £200. Briefly after less than a year the strap failed – instead of wrapping round a bar on the case, it was glued above and below an extension on the case; this glue joint failed. No warranty on the strap! It was returned to the store who had a new strap fitted by the manufacturer foc. After 12 months the replacement failed in exactly the same way, so returned it to the shop who sent it back to the manufacturer. The manufacturer would only replace with the same type of strap “as a goodwill gesture” even though it seemed plain it was probably of inadequate design; they would not replace the watch. I pointed out this would fail again and mentioned the Sale of Goods Act and durability; I suggested a decent watch (including the strap fixing) should last at least ten years and I’d hope for pro-rata recompense. Store back to manufacturer and it was agreed the store would supply a new watch of any make up to the £200 original cost.
All this took one phone call from me, three back from the store, sorted in less than 4 hours. The store was on-side all the way and could not have been more helpful – any surprise it was John Lewis? No. I thought this was a generous but good result.

Well done, and thanks for reporting this encouraging result. It might encourage others to take action.

We need warranties that reflect reasonable expected product life – not the usual one or two years for domestic appliances for example, but 5 years or more. This, I think, will take a long time to become the norm.
The Sale of Goods Act gives you more rights than a guarantee already – if only it were made use of. In this Act a product must be durable – that is last for what an impartial person deems to be a reasonable time. Clearly one or two years for a domestic appliance is not a reasonable time. So why don’t we use it? Probably because we don’t try initially – some retailers will respond positively; if they don’t then it might be a struggle to get your just redress. So we need help, I think, to apply this act more routinely and this could be where Which? could give advice on two things – reasonable product life, and documentation to help us with the retailer. Or am I totally mistaken in this approach?

I think it a perfectly reasonable approach. I suspect that too many people have little knowledge of their consumer rights and therefore do not pursue these issues with sellers, ending up being fobbed off by sales staff, who are either poorly trained for the job, or could be deliberately misleading their victims. Consumer protection legislation needs to be equally applicable to retailers buying from manufacturers, so that the buck does not just stop with the seller, but goes back to the manufacturer. We would then have an increased likelihood of products being fit for purpose and having better durability.

Companies that acknowledge consumer rights should be commended.

Apple is one company that does this: https://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/products/iphone-english-uk.html

Anthony says:
29 January 2014

I don’t agree – Apple store train their staff to follow Apple policy and refuse point blank to acknowledge my legal rights.

From the leaflet accompanying the receipt for a corded phone I bought from Currys last April:

“If your product is faulty

Don’t worry. If your product develops a fault within 21 days of purchase we’ll always offer you the choice of an exchange or full refund, provided that you have proof of purchase.

Most products come with at least a 1 year guarantee, so if your product develops a fault during the remaining guarantee period we’ll help you to get a prompt resolution. Please note that this will vary by product type.

If we refer you to the product manufacturer or repair agent for service or repair, this is because they are our agents for the products and have been chosen because they are best placed to help our customers with product queries.”

At the time I did contact Currys by email, explaining that it was their responsibility – as retailer – to deal with problems and that they should not expect customers to contact the manufacturer or anyone else. I did receive a reply but this point was completely ignored.

You are absolutely right. Your contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer, so they cannot abrogate their responsibilities.

Charlotte Crewe says:
12 January 2014


I recently had to return my imac to the store from which I purchased it several years ago with a fault from which it had suffered continuously (flickering) but I failed to return it thinking it was my power supply. After several years it started to black out and I returned it in December 2013, 3 months out of the warranty period to find that it would cost me approximately £400 to repair. The following week you article appeared and I stated to the technician that the computer was ‘faulty goods’. A week later it had a new graphics monitor installed free of charge. When I collected it, there was a piece of paper with ‘consumer law’ written on it and authorized. This was fantastic service from the Bristol mac store Cribbs Causway, thanks to Which.

Robert says:
15 January 2014

I bought a camera from Amazon. After 2 months, I tried using it indoors and realised that the flash didn’t work. Amazon refused to take it back or arrange repair because their returns policy expires after 2 months. They told me to send it to the manufacturer who refused to accept it but gave me the address of a repairs workshop. They also advised me I would have to pay for the repair. I concluded that Amazon did not know about Consumer Rights.

Being probably the world’s largest on-line retailer, it would be utterly unforgivable for Amazon not to know about consumer rights, though individual staff members may well be poorly trained (if at all), thus resulting in the wrong response. Their returns policy may well be time limited, but that may well be for returns where people have simply changed their minds (where there is no redress in law). However, your case is not about returns, it is about a defective product and the obligation is with Amazon to deal with it directly, as your contract of sale was with Amazon, not the manufacturer and it lasts a “reasonable” amount of time – 12 months or more – and is definitely not restricted to a mere 2 months. You might need to refer the case up the line, or to customer complaints, but they are at fault and you have every right to have your camera repaired, replaced or cost refunded, without incurring any cost yourself – not even for the cost of returning it. Good luck.

G Mill says:
16 January 2014

Took mira sport shower back to B&Q after it packed in after six goes.
I told them I wanted a replacement or refund.
Was told I had to contact the manufacturer. When I told them I had bought it in B&Q I was told it was policy that I had to contact the manufacturer.

I told the lady she could either give me my money back (they were out of stock in any event) or I would complain to my credit card company who would reclaim money from them and I would get refund.

I was contacted by telephone to say the manager had decided to give me a refund.

When I returned to the store I got the old spiel from another employee about having to contact the manufacturer! I had to interrupt them and go over my earlier conversation.

Clearly this was the company/store policy. How many other customers were fobbed off who didn’t know their rights?

Anthony says:
29 January 2014

From Trading Standards Web Site

“You cannot remove a customer’s legal rights, for example by displaying a notice saying ‘we do not give refunds under any circumstances’ or ‘credit notes only in the case of faulty items’. It is also against the law to mislead consumers about their legal rights – this could lead to a criminal prosecution under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008”.

You clearly have proof that legal rights have been removed – why not prosecute – this will cure the problem. Also where are trading standards – this is their domain ?

Absolutely right – the very act of trying to abrogate your legal obligations in this area is a criminal offence in itself. Trading Standard (part of the Local Authority) should be tasked to prosecute such breaches. Offering a credit note is fine in cases where a customer changes their mind or has bought the wrong size (where it is the customer’s fault), but faulty goods require replacement or full refund (customer has the choice).

Charlaba says:
26 February 2014

I had my brand new Beko DL1243APS dishwasher PATS tested by an electrician. The dishwasher failed the PATS earth leakage test by ~3.75mA; the other appliances passed. The shop promptly sent a replacement dishwasher. The electrician returned and the second DL1243APS machine also failed the PATS earth leakage test by ~3.75mA.

Beko arranged for an engineer to come and look at the second machine. The engineer did all his tests (earth loop test, earth continuity, insulation test) and found the machine to be, according to his “Service Force policy” checks / tests, “electrically safe” and signed it off as such. He did not have a PATS test machine and he did not do a PATS earth leakage test.

So, is my dishwasher “electrically safe”?

If it is, then what is the purpose of the PATS test? If it isn’t, are service engineers misleading customers and should the engineers be required to upgrade their test equipment to include PATS?

What are my rights?

Charlaba, as far as I can see this is not necessarily a problem. If the manufacturer has checked the machine and stated it to be electrically satisfactory then keep a record of that, with the engineers results. PAT testing seems to be limited to the tests your BEKO engineer did – earth continuity, insulation resistance, funtionality. Earth leakage current can be higher than 3.5 mA if electrical filters form any part of the circuit. If you are concerned, I suggest you ask BEKO to explain. You might put this into Google search – pat testing earth leakage limits – and should find a useful article at the IET.

Samantha says:
21 January 2015

I went into Argos today, with my product and receipt, it was a morphy richards microwave which i’d bought Decemeber 2012 (just over 2 years ago). I was reading up on my rights about being able to return the faulty item under sales of goods act if the item quality wasnt up to standard, and that the retailer i bought it from could repair or replace it for me, even if it is out of warrenty (as part of my statatory rights)…



I showed them the microwave, which has the paint blistered and peeling from inside (the microwave is only 2 years old, when it looked more like 20!) and told them it had gone with a bang and now unuseable and showed them the reciept…. The first thing they said to me was, there was nothing they could do as its out of the 1 year warrenty they supply and i have to go to the manufacturer…. I told them that isn’t true, and that they are responsible to sort out the item as i bought it from them, and the contract when i bought the item, was with them.. I also told them that im not using a guarentee with this item, and that im using the sales of goods act and my statatory rights to get a replacement, and that can be upto 6 years if the item doesn’t last as long as it should or is satisfactory quality….


I had read a study that showed microwaves should last on average 9 years, this one had only lasted 2…
The final outcome of my conversation with Argos (after i’d informed them about my rights and they are responsible for replacing item upto 6 years after purchase), was that in order to give me a replacement they would need to see an independant report done on the item, to tell them if its a manufacturer fault or the fault of my own…. I have read nothing of the sort and i asked to speak to HR, they gave me a number which onbly went through to a call centre, not directly to HR… The call centre told me i would have to write to HR in order to get a response…

So i went to a local electrical place to get them to do a report on the item (charge of £23.50), which is it comes back as a manufactuer fault, Argos has said they will refund this charge to get a independant report along with a replacement….
I had said to Argos in store that surely it would save me time and them money if they’d just given me a replacement?
Just have to wait a few days now for the independant report to come back and fingers crossed i can then take it back to argos to get my replacement and refund of the report…

Well done Samantha. More people should pursue their rights under the Sale of Goods Act. A product should be “durable” which, in most cases, means it should last well beyond the guarantee period unless it was very cheap for its type.

If you have had an independent report done (which, if the fault is not obvious, is a reasonable requirement by the retailer, with them paying the cost if it is in your favour) then that should be sufficient to prove your entitlement. I don’t see why a second report is necessary.

In practice, you might be offered a pro-rata refund for the use you’d had, but I hope Argos will simply replace it. Good luck.

Samantha says:
23 January 2015

an update for you… i took my microwave to an independant person to inspect and give a report on their findings and it was a manufacturing defect due to poor extraction, causing the paint inside the microwave to flake…. i took the microwave and the report back to argos and they were happy to then replace the microwave for me 🙂 and to a different model, as i didn’t want the same one as before only to then get the same problem occur…
happy customer, in the end 🙂

Thanks for the update, Samantha. It might encourage others to take action if they have a problem with a product once the warranty has expired. Was it easy to find an independent person to examine the microwave?

It would be much simpler if Morphy Richards had given you a 10 year warranty. Microwave ovens should last a long time if they are not misused.

Good news Samantha. I wish more people would pursue their SoGA rights in this way. Which? could help by drawing attention to ways to present the case when it is a durability issue.

I hope that Argos refunded the cost of the independent report.

wavechange, I don’t imagine extra-long warranties will come without (reasonable) strings attached. It would be expected that the manufacturer would need to know that the problem did not arise through mis-use or wear and tear – either through an independent report or their own examination. Under existing warranties that require a call out they will usually charge if the fault is not theirs.

Malcolm – We will only get longer warranties if people push for them. A friend has just bought a new Hyundai car because of the five year warranty, encouraged by a mutual friend who had done the same thing for the same reason.

My Breville kettle failed with a loud bang last week. Unfortunately, I cannot find the receipt, probably because it was removed from my file when I had the kettle replaced under warranty. That’s two failures in less than three years. My previous two kettles lasted a total of 30 years and were still working when I replaced them.

I’m generally lucky but I’m well aware that many electrical goods have short lives and it’s usually not economically viable or even possible to effect repairs.

I am now looking for longer warranties and encouraging others to do the same. Obviously warranties have got to be fair to the companies involved. If the companies are responsible for the cost of repairs they will be less likely to use inferior components or make appliances that are very difficult to repair. That need not greatly increase the costs.

wavechange, we are on the same side regarding warranties but it seems not to be happening quickly. In the meantime we need to make use of all available remedies. Samantha shows how applying the pressure works.

Suggest you report your Breville kettle to the manufacturer at http://www.breville.co.uk. Be interested how they respond.

We’ve had a stainless steel Kenwood kettle – made in China of course – for around 12 years. It stopped working once, but dismantling the connecting base sorted out a connection that had become dodgy. These appliances are pretty simple and should work for a decent length of time. Just a pity we can’t make this sort of stuff here.

wavechange, long warranties need to be paid for in the cost of the appliance. More reliable manufacturers will no doubt be able to charge a smaller on-cost – fewer problems – and the incentive will be to produce more reliable products. I suspect we will end up with a two-tier system; more expensive products with longer warranties, and cheap “throw-away” items with short ones. A choice for the consumer.

I do not know how we can speed up the introduction of longer warranties except through concerted consumer-group pressure Europe wide. Which? has not really stated a position on campaigning for longer warranties. It has also been a bit reticent on how to pursue claims out of warranty – using SoGA durability, help to negotiate with retailers – and in dealing with what seem to be dubious practises such as the Kindle failures and Sony phone screens that crack. It would be useful if their position was clarified.

c nichol – I am planning to contact Breville but it would be good if I can find the receipt or other evidence of purchase first. Over the years I have had more success contacting manufacturers than in pushing retailers to take action, even though the latter are legally responsible.

As you say, it can be easy to repair electrical goods. Sometimes I take the chance of being able to do this rather than go through the hassle of going back to the retailer. The vaporised metal deposited at the vent holes in the base show that the element has exploded, so it’s not just a dodgy connection.

Modern kettles have the element attached to the base, so there is nothing that the householder or manufacturer can do to replace it, as was possible with earlier designs. Living in a very hard water area, I prefer the design because limescale accumulates as a coarse powder rather than sticking to the polished base and there is no element to fur up. Premature failure of elements and leaks at water level indicators do seem to be common problems of modern kettles.

Malcolm – I have suggested several times that Which? should tell us about the length of manufacturers’ warranties when products are tested. I appreciate that some manufacturers often have promotions with extended warranties and that retailers, notably John Lewis, offer longer warranties, but knowing the standard length of warranties would be a great help to Which? members reading the magazine.

While procreating about what to do about my faulty kettle, a friend has bough me a Russell Hobbs kettle from Waitrose at a reduced price of £6.19. At the discounted price it was not covered by the Waitrose 2 year warranty. The manufacturer’s warranty is for two year but can be extended to 3 years by registering the purchase.

I tried to register the warranty on the Russell Hobbs website but it wanted a lot of personal information for marketing purposes, so I rang the company. I had to look up an alternative for the 0845 number, shown as ‘local rate’ on the website. I managed to register the 3 year warranty without hassle and asked for my contact details not to be used for marketing.

So now I have a kettle with a three year warranty for £6.19, and the receipt is stored safely.

wavechange, “While procreating…..” I’m surprised this got through the censors. I suspect you meant procrastinate? Your Russell Hobbs kettle sounds a steal at a maximum of £2.06 a year. I’d still get your Breville replaced then if your RH should fail you’ll at least be able to make yourself a cuppa.

I have reprimanded my web browser for the entertaining mistake. 🙂 Rest assured that I have not contributed to the population explosion. I’ve been using a travel kettle while I have been between kettles. I must look for my receipt. The Breville has a good robust stainless steel filter, not one of the pathetic plastic parts that most kettles have to collect limescale.

Procreating a few more RH kettles at £6.19 with a 3 year warrantee sounds a more attractive offer to me at my advanced age, although have been contemplating purchasing a Quooker when my present Breville pops its clogs!

I’m sure you will have selected a long-life Breville, Beryl. 🙂

Last time I looked at the Quooker, the standard warranty was only two years. If the company has the confidence to charge over £1k for a water heater then they should offer a ten year warranty.

If Beryl invested that Qooker money in Breville kettles the cumulative guarantees would be 484 years. I agree that something as simple as a water boiler should be backed by a better guarantee than 2 years. It should also, for £1k, do a lot more than just produce hot water. Still. it’s all about how you use disposable income. 🙂

Quookers should be included as part of the fixtures and fittings in all new houses. Instant boiling water at the flick of a switch, ideal for business people in apartments. Perhaps not so popular with retirees though but anyone thinking of changing their kitchen might decide to have one installed or if buying a new property arrange to have one fitted at the building stage.

Beryl, it seems a very expensive way to provide boiling water for the odd cup of tea or coffee. But if you could afford a Qooker you’d probably also have a fancy coffee machina and a maid to make you a pot of tea. So I’ll stick with a kettle and Mrs R – less likely to go wrong.

Rich Parris, this is computer related news. A high performance graphics card has been found to only let buyers use 3.5GB of video ram instead of the full advertised 4GB, and when it tries to use the last 0.5GB especially in SLI configuration, it leads to game stuttering and poor performance.



Can you please open a new Conversation topic about it?

Malcolm: Check this out, I’ll wager Mrs R would love one! ‘The many uses of a Quooker tap! – YouTube.’ My present coffee machine is about 30 years old and I once owned a teasmaid but that has long gone but I wouldn’t say a definitive “no” to a Quooker. Having said that I am no sure how energy efficient the are.

Hi Beryl – I don’t mean to be a wet blanket but have a look at a YouTube video “Descaling Quooker”.

It looks quite involved. I cannot find an official video.

I think I read that the cost is about 3p per day. The cost of having someone crawl under the sink might be more.

Wavechange – looks quite complicated but I’m sure it would not be a problem for you!
Not so much a problem if you live in a soft water area or own a water softener. The video doesnt say how often the descaling should take place or if there is a filter system in place to minimise the procedure.

If the water is soft or softened, the need for maintenance will be reduced.

In not, an optional ion-exchanger can be installed on the water supply to cut down limescale formation, but the cartridge will need to be changed periodically, depending on water hardness.

A competent handyman should be able to do the job as long as they don’t mind crawling under the sink.

The descaling video shows the power socket mounted directly under the sink, where it could get wet. I don’t know if that’s allowed in the UK but it does not seem a good idea. 🙁

As a person who worked in tech support for a large retailer for a long time, I would like to point out that Which? guides do not tell the entire truth; they indivate the good parts but not the realistic parts.

Yes, a consumer has rights under a retailer for 6 years (5 from the date of fault in Scotland) from the date of delivery/complete install/ownership under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) regardless of the length of guarantee or warranty; however, this does not mean the retailer must repair the item free of charge upon request.

What it means is that the retailer has a duty of care to the consumer to assist as much as possible as after the first 6 months of having the item the onus is on the customer to prove that the item in inherently faulty at the time of purchase which has caused a fault to develop outside of the actual guarantee/warranty period. It is the retailers right to request that the consumer provide a report from an authorised repair center or engineer, at a charge to the consumer, that advises the unit is inherently faulty; should this occur the retailer will then be obliged to re assess and resolve the issue by reimbursing the cost incurred and/or offering a resolution the retailer deems fit (either a repair, exchange/replacement or a full or partial refund; the resolution is the retailers choice. Many retailers actually offer to contribute when they have absolute no obligation too just to ensure the customer service is not affected.

I would request that all those who believe the retailer are required to resolve any fault that occurs out of guarantee/warranty read the entire act as at no point does it state that items must remain fault free for the entirety of the 6 years mentioned. People must be reasonable, items with moving parts that are used will develop faults.

Be nice to those that assist you.

I was sold an alba DVD player 2251m from argos, which my wife listened the music discs.after about 12 months, I decided to use it in my bedroom for DVD films?,put disc in comes up wrong region,have lost the recite ,now what?

Other evidence of purchase can be used, for example a credit card statement.

I have never unlocked or hacked a DVD player so that it will play discs from any region, but you can probably find the information needed online.