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Is the Shop or Manufacturer Responsible for Faulty Goods?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 2 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Rights Consumer Warranty Faulty Goods

“I bought a washing machine from a big high street electrical shop two months ago, and it’s still under the manufacturer’s warranty. I started having some problems with it last week, where it wasn’t taking the fabric conditioner in.

I checked the manual and did all the things it told me to, but it’s still not working. I even rang up the manufacturer to see if their helpline had any advice, but they said I’d tried everything and should go back to the shop.

I went into the shop to ask them if they would give me a replacement machine or my money back. They said that because the machine was still under warranty, I needed to ask the manufacturer to repair it, or replace it, and it was nothing to do with them. Both of them are blaming each other and in the meantime my machine won’t work. What can I do”

Advice

Your rights are with the retailer.

Legally, you have a contract according to the Sale and Supply of Goods Act, and that contract is with the retailer, the person who you paid your money to, and not the manufacturer. Any rights that you have against the manufacturer, such as a warranty, are in addition to your legal rights in consumer law, and so you don’t have to rely on that. Your first port of call should always be the shop.

What are my Consumer Rights with Faulty Goods?

Whenever you buy goods from a shop, they must be of satisfactory quality. This takes into account issues such as how long you would expect that type of item to last (durability); freedom from minor defects; safety and even appearance. In your case, the machine isn’t doing what you would expect it to. You’ve only had it for two months and already it’s stopped working properly. Most people would expect a brand new washing machine to last more than two months without developing this type of problem, and the law says that if a fault develops in the first six months, it’s deemed to have been there when you purchased it.

This puts the shop in breach of their contract with you, and entitles you to redress from them. What you’re entitled to is always what’s ‘reasonable’ under the circumstances, so you may be able to push for a refund, but you might have more luck if you ask for a replacement machine, or a free repair. Of course, if the machine is playing up after only two months, a repair might not be acceptable to you. Negotiate with the shop and make it clear that you know your rights.

What are my Rights with the Warranty?

A warranty from a manufacturer can be useful, and it’s in addition to your specific legal rights. If this type of fault developed after six months, it would be harder to prove that the fault was there when you bought the machine, and the responsibility to do so would be on you, rather than the shop. It could end up costing you more to prove who’s at fault than it would to buy a new washing machine!

In this scenario, call on the warranty and see if you can get the machine repaired free of charge. Read the terms and conditions first, you might have to pay a call out charge, or there might be a fee. Some warranties also provide for a replacement if the goods can’t be repaired. Remember though, that any free warranty is an extension to your consumer rights, and harder to enforce. If you actually pay for a warranty (which many retailers like to try and make you do) it does make things slightly different as you then have a separate contract with the company who operates the warranty.

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Marsh - Your Question:
Thanks for the advice I am having the same problem with Tesco. Told me that the television is not covered by guarantee and that it has accidental damage.

Our Response:
We hope you manage to sort this out, Tesco of all companies, should be familiar with the new Consumer Rights legislation.Their terms and conditions are actually correct and state the following:
"In relation to electronics or mobile phones, please contact the relevant helpline below. If we are unable to resolve the issue over the phone, we would be pleased to offer you the following: Within 30 days of receipt of the goods: Your choice of a repair, replacement or refund. From 30 days after receipt of the goods until 12 months: We will arrange for a repair or replacement of the goods. If that’s not possible, we’ll offer you a refund.
For electrical items, we reserve the right to send out an engineer or technician to inspect the goods to confirm the fault before accepting the return."
ConsumerRightsExpert - 3-Nov-17 @ 2:19 PM
Thanks for the advice I am having the same problem with Tesco . Told me that the television is not covered by guarantee and that it has accidental damage.
Marsh - 2-Nov-17 @ 10:35 PM
bobble - Your Question:
We bought a television from Tesco direct it was fine for about 3 weeks and then one day when it was switched on there was an area of the screen which was just black.On phoning Tesco they asked for a photograph of the screen and after a couple of days they decided that the screen had been accidentally damaged.We offered to take the television to a Tesco extra for a visual assessment but Tesco would not accept this.We informed Tesco of our rights according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but they will not budge.They have suggested that we take the television to an accredited repair agent but we believe that they are in breach of the Act.

Our Response:
They are. If it is within 6 mothns of purchase, it is up to the retailer to prove that fault wasn't there at the time of purchase etc. Refer Tesco to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which in essence states that"If a fault is discovered within the first 6 months from delivery, it is presumed to have been there from the time of delivery. It is for the retailer to prove that this was not the case. You do not have to prove that it was."
ConsumerRightsExpert - 9-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
We bought a television from Tesco direct it was fine for about 3 weeks and then one day when it was switched on there was an area of the screen which was just black. On phoning Tesco they asked for a photograph of the screen and after a couple of days they decided that the screen had been accidentally damaged. We offered to take the television to a Tesco extra for a visual assessment but Tesco would not accept this. We informed Tesco of our rights according to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 but they will not budge. They have suggested that we take the television to an accredited repair agent but we believe that they are in breach of the Act.
bobble - 8-Oct-17 @ 7:39 PM
Blondie - Your Question:
Hi, I bought a Michael Kors braclet from Goldsmiths. This has been returned to the manufacturer 3 times resulting in a new replacement braclet being provided on each occasion. My braclet has broken again and I am returning braclet No.4. Is my contract with Goldsmiths or Michael Kors. This is obviously a design fault and I think I should now get my money back.Your advice would be greatly appreciated.Thank you.

Our Response:
Your contract is with Goldsmiths and it is their responsibility to repair or replacement the item (after 30 days) or give you a refund if the item is clearly not fit for purpose.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 2-Oct-17 @ 12:17 PM
Hi, I bought a Michael Kors braclet from Goldsmiths.This has been returned to the manufacturer 3 times resulting in a new replacement braclet being provided on each occasion.My braclet has broken again and I am returning braclet No.4. Is my contract with Goldsmiths or Michael Kors. This is obviously a design fault and I think I should now get my money back. Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Blondie - 29-Sep-17 @ 9:21 AM
Sue - Your Question:
I bought a mattress from an online retailer last year. Within a few months, it was sagging where we both slept and formed a ridge down the middle. At the retailer's request, we provided photographic evidence so that it could forward on to the manufacturer. It refused to take any action until the manufacturer provided advice. We accepted a replacement but emailed to say that if this one had the same issue, we would expect a refund. Unfortunately within 3 months, the exact same issues have now arisen. As before, the retailer refused to take any action until it had gone back to the manufacturer so as before, we provided new photos. The manufacturer arranged for an independent assessor from FIRA to come out and his report states the mattress is not faulty, the dips and ridge are due to "natural settlement" and we bought the wrong mattress based on how we sleep. On receipt of this report, the retailer's curt email to me states it will take no action as it's not faulty My contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer but how can I convince it to agree to refund me - assuming I have a case?

Our Response:
If it is less than six months following purchase, it is for the retailer to prove that the fault was not there when it was purchased. In this case you've had one replacement - the same thing has happended with the replacement...that suggests the same fault may have been there. If however the independent report suggests no fault, you will need to consider private legal action to resolve this.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 26-Sep-17 @ 11:08 AM
I bought a mattress from an online retailer last year. Within a few months, it was sagging where we both slept and formed a ridge down the middle. At the retailer's request, we provided photographic evidence so that it could forward on to the manufacturer. It refused to take any action until the manufacturer provided advice. We accepted a replacement but emailed to say that if this one had the same issue, we would expect a refund. Unfortunately within 3 months, the exact same issues have now arisen. As before, the retailer refused to take any action until it had gone back to the manufacturer so as before, we provided new photos. The manufacturer arranged for an independent assessor from FIRA to come out and his report states the mattress is not faulty, the dips and ridge are due to "natural settlement" and we bought the wrong mattress based on how we sleep. On receipt of this report, the retailer's curt email to me states it will take no action as it's not faulty My contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer but how can I convince it to agree to refund me - assuming I have a case?
Sue - 23-Sep-17 @ 5:46 PM
Silv - Your Question:
Brought a new air rifle a couple days ago with a scope and on setting up the rifle ifound the scope tube was bent is it the manufacturers responsibility the uk import agents or the shop which I brought it fromThanks

Our Response:
The shop from where you purchased the rifle is responsible for resolving this with you.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 8-Sep-17 @ 1:47 PM
Brought a new air rifle a couple days ago with a scope and on setting up the rifle ifound the scope tube was bent is it the manufacturers responsibility the uk import agents or the shop which i brought it from Thanks
Silv - 7-Sep-17 @ 8:38 PM
Hi I bought a Zanussi fan oven with a built in cleaning function as part of my new kitchen fit from Wickes. I have had the oven 4 weeks and used the self cleaning function for the 2nd time at the weekend.After around half hour into the cycle I heard a loud bang, the 3 inner panes of glass inside oven door had exploded! I am now without an oven until engineer comes out next week, and Domestic and General are talking about replacing glass only, not providing a new oven for something still under manufacturer warranty!I have complained to Wickes who are in touch with their head office and Zanussi head office pushing for a new oven! What are my rights am I entitled to a replacement oven or repair to what may be a dangerous oven, please advise? ??
JACKIE06 - 23-Aug-17 @ 12:49 PM
LauraM - Your Question:
Hi, I bought a Dyson earlier this year, January time I think it was from currys. On plugging the Dyson in today it shorted out all of my electrics and gave me an electric shock. I have my receipt as proof of purchase but currys have told me to deal with Dyson as they are not liable for big name brands. Is this correct? I am under the impression that I entered into a contract with the person I paid the money to for the goods, please can you let me know where I stand. Thanks.

Our Response:
No the responsibility is with the retailer. Since it's more than 6 months since purchase, it's up to you to prove that the product was faulty at the time of purchase. You may need an expert to help prove this. A Dyson vacuum cleaner would be expected to last longer than 6 months so you should have no problem in getting this resolved. If you registered your product at the time of purchase or still have your receipt, Dyson will sort it out for you even if Currys won't.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 16-Aug-17 @ 11:15 AM
Hi, I bought a Dyson earlier this year, January time I think it was from currys. On plugging the Dyson in today it shorted out all of my electrics and gave me an electric shock. I have my receipt as proof of purchase but currys have told me to deal with Dyson as they are not liable for big name brands. Is this correct? I am under the impression that I entered into a contract with the person I paid the money to for the goods, please can you let me know where I stand. Thanks.
LauraM - 14-Aug-17 @ 11:28 AM
Ray- Your Question:
Bought plant bulbs and plant pot set online from Ideal World. Only 1 plant of 10 bulbs flowering and some bulbs not even growing. Planted similar garden centre bulbs in my own pot at the same time with same compost and all plants have grown and flowering. Sent picture of two pots to Ideal World but their response is to contact their supplier for redress as they were sent direct from supplier. Is this correct?

Our Response:
The retailer is responsible for faulty goods, but how long is it since you purchased? You rights after 6 months are slightly reduced as the onus is on you to prove the item was faulty when you purchased it. We note from their website that Ideal World don't clearly say that you are entitled to a full refund of faulty goods within 30 days of purchase (they simply suggest a replacement will be sent and refund will made if no replacement is available)which is incorrect.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 9-Aug-17 @ 2:01 PM
Bought plant bulbs and plant pot set online from Ideal World. Only 1 plant of 10 bulbs flowering and some bulbs not even growing. Planted similar garden centre bulbs in my own pot at the same time with same compost and all plants have grown and flowering. Sent picture of two pots to Ideal World but their response is to contact their supplier for redress as they were sent direct from supplier. Is this correct?
Ray - 8-Aug-17 @ 8:25 AM
Kevin - Your Question:
I bought a well known Fitness tracker from a well known UK online store about 12 months agoThe trackers bracket separated from the tracker just coming up to the year mark. That particular model has since been withdrawn from the market even and even though this is a very widely reported fault the manufacturer is offering this as a replacement or a 50 percent discount on any of their other modelsIs it to late to contact the retailer, I assume my contract is with them and ask them for a settlement I would be prepared to accept the model which replaced the withdrawn oneMany thanks

Our Response:
At this stage it's up to you to prove the fault but in view of the well know problems withthe item this might be straight forward. If the manufactuturer is offering a replacement or a discount off a new item, you could always resort to that anyway.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 26-Jul-17 @ 12:48 PM
I bought a well known Fitness tracker from a well known UK online store about 12 months ago The trackers bracket separated from the tracker just coming up to the year mark. That particular model has since been withdrawn from the market even and even though this is a very widely reported fault the manufacturer is offering this as a replacement or a 50 percent discount on any of their other models Is it to late to contact the retailer, I assume my contract is with them and ask them for a settlement I would be prepared to accept the model which replaced the withdrawn one Many thanks
Kevin - 20-Jul-17 @ 12:39 AM
Ordered chairs from a company in Sept 2017 who ,Unknown to us ,were in financial trouble. We could not reach them by phone or email. We had paid a £2000 deposit with £2000 on delivery. They appeared on Watchdog and were clearly going to go into liquidation (which they did). We wrote off £2000 as paid by cheque (they said credit cards could not be used) In December 2017 received a call from the manufacturer of the chairs saying they had reached an arrangement with Trading Standards to supply the chairs if we paid them on receipt.Dubious but company appeared to have a good reputation so went ahead. Chairs not delivered on due date. Tried to cancel but got a sob story. Agreed a new date,chairs delivered and payment made of £2000. Within 2 weeks the chairs developed problems in the seats. They advised we were not sitting on them correctly. We advised that we wanted a refund under the Consumer Act. They advised that they weren't the retailer and weren't liable. We advised that they had become the retailer by taking the £2000. They insisted that liability was with the original company and they would repair the chairs which they admitted were faulty . We refused and insisted we wanted a refund. Basically an impasse was reached
Geoff - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:15 AM
Bought a Sekonda watch in the Duty Free shop at Cardiff airport on 30th May. Didn't wear it on holiday. Took it out of the box when arrived home but found the catch was faulty. Sometimes it closed securely, sometimes it felt it had closed but actually hadn't. Sent it to Nuance who run the shop on 11th June for either replacement or refund. Been told this could take 6 weeks! What are my rights?
Knh316 - 16-Jul-17 @ 6:20 PM
Hi. I bought an Xbox elite Controller 5 months ago. The top left bumper button has become loose, making it difficult to use, and likely to fall off. I contacted Argos where I purchased it and they insisted I contact the Microsoft, the manufacturer, instead. What are my options?
gcarlin1 - 11-Jul-17 @ 10:04 AM
Papas1982 - Your Question:
Hi, I bought a golf trolley 11 months ago. It's got a two year warranty and has broken this afternoon. Do I chase the retailer or the manufacturer?

Our Response:
If you want to claim under the warranty, take a look at the terms and conditions; there will be details about who to contact (it's more likely to be the manufacturer). If you want to claim under your consumer rights (because you expected it to last longer), then as it is more than 6 months since you purchased the product, you must prove that the product was faulty at the time of purchase. You may need an expert report to prove this.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 6-Jul-17 @ 9:38 AM
Hi, I bought a golf trolley 11 months ago. It's got a two year warranty and has broken this afternoon. Do I chase the retailer or the manufacturer?
Papas1982 - 3-Jul-17 @ 9:21 PM
Bluebell - Your Question:
Bought a laptop from AO delivered 24/06/2017 which was faulty. AO contacted Accer and they replaced the laptop on 29/06/2017 this has the same fault. We have contacted AO and they have said because Accer have replaced the laptop our contract is now with them - is this correct.

Our Response:
No, your contract remains with the retailer who sold you the laptop in the first place.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:49 AM
Bought a laptop from AO delivered 24/06/2017 which was faulty. AO contacted Accer and they replaced the laptop on 29/06/2017 this has the same fault. We have contacted AO and they have said because Accer have replaced the laptop our contract is now with them - is this correct.
Bluebell - 30-Jun-17 @ 8:45 PM
Mz7 - Your Question:
I purchase an electric towel rail (around February/March time this year)Had it fitted by a qualified electrician in May as I moved into a new house.The rail over heated and melted the plastic supports that hold it to the wall and hold the rail in position-these supports are secured to the wall, go through the rungs in each corner and then have a cap to hold in place-all plastic.This alone makes no sense that they are plastic!I do not want a replacement as there is no way I am risking a fire as the rail was so hot I couldn't actually touch it even after just 10 minutes of it being on.Also I cannot take that risk by having the same plastic supported rail-the company say all rails have plastic supports but I did agree as I have found one where the supports do not go through the rungs to support it.Where do I stand with this?

Our Response:
If they are willing to offer you the one you one as a replacement, we suggest that is good solution?
ConsumerRightsExpert - 27-Jun-17 @ 10:19 AM
I purchase an electric towel rail (aroundFebruary/March time this year) Had it fitted by a qualified electrician in May as I moved into a new house. The rail over heated and melted the plastic supports that hold it to the wall and hold the rail in position-these supports are secured to the wall, go through the rungs in each corner and then have a cap to hold in place-all plastic. This alone makes no sense that they are plastic! I do not want a replacement as there is no way I am risking a fire as the rail was so hot I couldn't actually touch it even after just 10 minutes of it being on. Also I cannot take that risk by having the same plastic supported rail-the company say all rails have plastic supports but I did agree as I have found one where the supports do not go through the rungs to support it. Where do I stand with this?
Mz7 - 24-Jun-17 @ 9:30 AM
Markus - Your Question:
I bought a jacket on line in the UK. As they stated that they do not deliver to France where I live I had it sent to a friend in the UK. Unfortunately, it started to fall apart. I contacted the manufacturer and explained the problem that I needed a replacement along with photographs and details of purchase which was only 3 months ago, explained the problem about where I live and could they send a replacement to France as the on-line shop won't deliver to France and there reply was you must deal with the on-line shop. Sent a email to the manufacturers MDwho has little interest in helping me. I am not going back to the UK for some time, please could you advise if the manufacturer has any responsibility? but go there occasionally and pick up any goods I have previously ordered.

Our Response:
No, it's the retailer's responsibility. They have a duty to repair or replace faulty items within 30 days and 6 months of purchase. If they don't deliver to France, you will have to accept a delivery of the replaced or repaired item to the original address (your friend in the UK). You friend could then send it on to you, if she was willing (you'd reimburse her for any cost of course).
ConsumerRightsExpert - 21-Jun-17 @ 12:36 PM
I bought a hoptpoint washing machine from currys 28.11.16. The door won't connect to the memory board to confirm the door has locked. I contacted hoptpoint 21.05.17 They didn't have a engineer available until 25.06.17 when he came he confirmed this was the problem. He ordered the part from my home. I've contacted them a few times since then and they have told me that once it has come in the engineer will be in touch. It will be month on Wednesdayand I'm still waiting. It is still covered by the warranty. I have to take my washing to my sister's get it done. What can I do?
Angie 64 - 19-Jun-17 @ 10:15 PM
I bought a jacket on line in the UK. As they stated that they do not deliver to France where I live I had it sent to a friend in the UK. Unfortunately, it started to fall apart. I contacted the manufacturer and explained the problem that I needed a replacement along with photographs and details of purchase which was only 3 months ago, explained the problem about where I live and could they send a replacement to France as the on-line shop won't deliver to France and there reply was you must deal with the on-line shop. Sent a email to the manufacturers MD who has little interest in helping me. I am not going back to the UK for some time, please could you advise if the manufacturer has any responsibility? but go there occasionally and pick up any goods I have previously ordered.
Markus - 19-Jun-17 @ 4:15 PM
Claree - Your Question:
Advice needed. 4 month old hotpoint washing machine needs new motherboard already, bought from Costco, had an engineer out and now awaiting part with eta of 23/06/17, engineer came out 5/06/17, knew what problem was before came and still didnt have parts. so now more time off work and inconvenience of no washing machine. what is the best course of action as I think the machine should be replaced or refunded.

Our Response:
If a fault is discovered within the first 6 months from delivery, it is presumed to have been there from the time of delivery. You can choose for the retailer to either repair the product, or replace the product but the retailer may refuse one option if they can show that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative. You can return the product for a refund following circumstances:
Repair or replacement isn't possible
Repair has been unsuccessful
Replacement is not possible and repair would take an unreasonably long amount of time
Repair or replacement would be significantly inconvenient
The cost of repair or replacement is disproportionate to the value of the product
The replacement product also turns out to be faulty
ConsumerRightsExpert - 15-Jun-17 @ 12:19 PM
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