Consumer Rights on a Faulty Product.
If you have recently bought a product from a business that develops a fault, you generally have the right to a replacement, free repair or a full refund. Older purchases should still last a suitable amount of time and remain defect free for the period of its guarantee or warranty.
There are various options available to you to help resolve a problem with a purchase that develops a fault, many of which you can undertake yourself. But if that fails you may want to consider taking court action to get the matter resolved and secure compensation for the faulty goods.
Faulty Product Definition.
Goods should be free of fault and any damage when received or delivered.
Products sold should be suitable for the reason they have been supplied for and last a reasonable amount of time.
Goods must match the description provided to you along with any demonstration that you were given prior to purchase.
How to complain about faulty goods.
Most disputes for faulty goods can be handled through a company's complaints process if done the correct way, such as:
- Get in contact with the retailer and inform them you would like a full refund. As long as the item is obviously faulty and it is within 30 days since your purchase you should automatically be entitled to a refund.
- Should the purchase date be over 30 days or the retailer refuses to deal with you, consult the manufacturer's warranty to check that it is still covered and consider raising the matter with them direct.
- If the manufacturer or retailer rejects your request ask for a copy of their complaints procedure and write a formal letter to their dedicated customer care department, complaints team or a senior manager.
- In the event the retailer or manufacturer informs you that nothing can be done, check to see if they are a member of an ombudsman scheme and consider escalating the matter to them.
If after all these steps the supplier, manufacturer or retailer still does not offer a suitable refund or replacement then you need to consider taking your case to the small claims court who can ultimately resolve your faulty product claim. But for this step you need to consider:
- Proving the fault exists, the relevant consumer regulations and your chance of winning in court
- The costs of issuing a claim and a the small claim hearing fee
- The time involved in compiling evidence, completing court forms and attending a court hearing
Then, the next step is to write again to the party you are holding responsible to reject the faulty goods under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and inform them that unless you receive a resolution within 14 days you intend to take the matter to the small claims court. This is known as a 'Letter Before Action' and further details on the whole process along with an example letter can be found in our free faulty goods eBook.
Once the court is involved, gaining compensation for damaged goods can become a complicated process and so you may wish to seek legal advice before incurring the cost of issuing court proceedings.
Faulty Product Solicitors.
If the retailer still doesn't resolve the matter to your satisfaction and inline with your consumer rights, our guide will also provide an overview of the next step of legal action. If however at this point you prefer to gain legal advice, we offer a fixed fee review service where a solicitor will review your pre-litigation/legal action dispute, consider the merits of your claim and if appropriate draft a Letter Before Action to the supplier. Often a letter from solicitors can be sufficient to achieve a response and dialogue, as it demonstrates that you have sort legal advice and you are serious about taking court action to resolve.
Should a letter following our review not achieve a settlement or solution, we can then offer further fixed fee services to issue your claim in the small claim court.
Consumer Dispute Legal Advice
If the retailer is refusing to replace or refund the faulty item, our fixed fee consumer legal advice gets you access to a consumer dispute lawyer at an affordable price
Issue Small Claim Proceedings
If following our legal advice service and sending a Letter Before Action your dispute has not been resolved, we can commence formal legal proceedings on your behalf
Legal Advice on Faulty Products.
Did the faulty product cause an injury?
As well as compensating for your injury, treatment and any time off work, an injury claim following use of a faulty product may also include the cost of suitable replacement product. For more information please visit our injury compensation page.
'No Win No Fee' subject to entering into an agreement with a suitable insurance policy and complying with your responsibilities under its terms.