Today’s post is a guest post from Helen at The Complaining Cow, as seen on TV, fighting for consumer rights. Today she is talking about what you need to know when complaining about goods.
Over to Helen…
How well do you know your Consumer Rights? Not at all? A little bit? Don’t use them? Or perhaps think you know them but actually you are out of date?
The Complaining Cow blogger, consumer champion and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! provides a quick guide to the rights and tips you are most likely to need.
There are many many laws, regulations, sector specific codes of conducts and the list goes on. But if we look just at retail this is much of what you should know.
- This is one of the main Acts you need to know. Forget The Sale of Goods Act and Supply of Goods and Services Act, these amongst others were repealed. However you have the same rights and more.
- Goods must be of satisfactory quality, as described and last a reasonable length of time.
- Digital goods such as downloads are now covered by this Act
- If the item is in breach of any of the above, then you are entitled to a refund up to 30 days after purchase. After this time the retailer can provide you with a replacement or repair
- Your contract is always with the trader to whom you give your money. Not the manufacturer. Do not be fobbed off
- Under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 you have 14 days cooling off period for changing your mind when purchasing off premises. If the item does not breach the Consumer Rights Act 2015 then you may have to pay return postage. This will depend on the company’s terms and conditions.
- When you have ordered online – your contract is always with the retailer not the courier. So if you have a problem with the delivery, do not be fobbed off. Refuse to contact the courier if the retailer suggests you do so. Let the retailer have the hassle as this is legally what they should do.
- When you complain do so in writing so that there is a track record of evidence should you need to go further. Be objective, state facts chronologically, say what you want to happen (is it an apology, is it a refund, it out of pocket expenses etc?) and give a deadline.
- State what you will do if not happy with the response, such as contact an ADR provider (for example if the company is a member), detail the complaint in relevant forums and review sites, or use the Small Claims Court.
- If you aren’t happy, you can also go to the CEO! Find their contact details at It is unlikely that the CEO will respond personally, but it will escalate the matter and someone with more authority (usually as Executive Department or similar) will deal with your issue.
So there you have it, if you’re not satisfied, you are well within your rights to make a complaint.
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