Did you receive a Christmas gift that’s broken or doesn’t work? Find out if you’re entitled to a refund and how to go about receiving it with our freshly redesigned faulty goods complaint tool.
A little over a year ago, I wrote about the ongoing confusion around your legal rights when returning faulty goods, and that in response to our findings, we’d created a nifty tool anyone could use to create a bespoke letter of complaint.
As far as years go, 2016 has been quite a mixed bag, but our rudimentary little faulty goods tool proved to be more popular than we could have ever imagined.
In its short 12-month life, it was used over 11,000 times, with more than £16m worth of claims lodged using it.
The sheer variety of claims that have gone through the tool is one of the most surprising things I’ve found.
It’s ranged from a £150,000 yacht that wasn’t watertight to a claim for a 59p refund for an unsatisfactory can of pop.
Someone even used the tool to try to get their £1 coin back as it had become trapped in a trolley at their local Aldi.
New year, new faulty goods complaint tool
But this was just the beginning. We’ve spent the past several weeks turning some, to be frank, baffling flow charts and spreadsheets into a bigger and better faulty goods complaint tool.
We’ve smartened up the design, and given it a much clearer and easier-to-follow process.
The previous version was dependent on you reading up on your rights beforehand, now you’re guided through with minimal prior knowledge needed.
The tool has only been live a matter of days and it’s already notched up more than 500 uses. And with Christmas now done and dusted for another year, we’re expecting a whole lot more.
So, if you received a gift that was broken when you unwrapped it or it simply doesn’t work, all you have to do is answer some simple questions and the tool will work out what you should be entitled to claim. It will also create a bespoke ready-to-go letter you can send off to the retailer.
What does it mean for consumers?
We had a few issues with being able to use the data from the previous version of the tool, but this updated version should enable us to gather harder stats on what products and which retailers you’re having problems with.
We’re also looking into how we can follow up with those using the tool and find out how they’re complaint went. Sadly, we’ll never know if the £1 coin was successfully recovered from the trolley at Aldi, but in the future things could be different.
Hopefully, this means that we’ll be able to take more action either behind the scenes or publicly to ensure that retailers aren’t fobbing off their customers and manufacturers aren’t offloading dodgy products onto the market.
Your opinion counts
Dare I say it, as some of the most engaged people in the country on consumer issues, your input is really valuable. We’d love to hear your ideas on where we take things from here.
So, what do you think of the new tool? What would you like to see us do with the data we get from it?
And finally, Happy New Year to you all!