Helen Dewdney, blogs at www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk providing consumer advice, guidance and tips on how to complain effectively. She is the author of Amazon bestseller How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress & Results! Here she provides a brief outline of some of your rights when purchasing goods and services.
The British are good at moaning about the weather but less so about complaining about faulty goods and poor service. Due to time, effort and not knowing their rights the consumer is frequently taken advantage of and is not given redress when they are fully entitled to it and are left out of pocket.
There are numerous consumer laws which give you a lot of protection. However, some are more used than others. You should be aware of the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994. This was the update made to the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Under this Act you are entitled to goods that are of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, are as described and last a reasonable length of time.
So, your kettle stops working what do you do when you’ve only had it 6 weeks? You are entitled to a full refund, replacement or repair. After a few weeks it is considered that you have accepted the item and therefore may have to accept a repair or replacement. If you’ve only had the kettle a couple of weeks you can insist on a refund. However, many companies will try and fob you off. Don’t allow it! The company may say to you that you don’t have the receipt so they cannot do anything. You only need to prove purchase, so a credit card statement for example would do. It may say that you have to return it to the manufacturer for a repair. You do not have to accept this as your contract is always with the retailer to whom you gave the money. A classic fob off is being told that you should have taken out a warranty. I have yet to ever be told of any warranty which gives you more protection than your statutory rights. If you know your statutory rights you would never take out a warranty! So assert your legal rights, quoting the Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994.
The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 entitles you to services which are carried out with reasonable care and skill, in a reasonable time (if there is no specific time agreed) and for a reasonable charge (if no fixed price set in advance).
So, you expected the dishwasher engineer to come on Thursday between 8.00am and 5.00pm? The company couldn’t give you a more precise time so you have had to take the day off work. The engineer didn’t turn up. You are entitled to the out of pocket expenses for the time you took off for this missed appointment. When he eventually turned up the next day he damaged the floor. You are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care so you are entitled to redress for repairing the floor.
If you still can’t get the response to which you are entitled write to complain. Follow these tips and if you still don’t get anywhere email the ceo of the company. You can find the CEO contact details of any CEO at www.ceoemail.com
It’s so important to complain when you are legally entitled to a refund or redress. So many people fall at the first hurdle and get fobbed off. It means the fat cats get fatter and you are out of pocket! So make sure you assert your legal rights effectively.
For purchases and services made from October 1st 2015 you should quote the Consumer Rights Act 2015 more details here: http://www.thecomplainingcow.co.uk/a-guide-to-the-consumer-rights-act-2015/