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Is the Shop or Manufacturer Responsible for Faulty Goods?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 27 Jul 2020 | 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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Ces - Your Question:
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Our Response:
Read the terms of the guarantee to find out who is repsonsible under the terms of the guarantee itself. As far as your consumer rights go as it's over 6 months since purchase, it's up to you to prove that the product was faulty at the time of purchase. You would likely need an expert report to prove this. If you can prove it, the retailer is responsible but can also make a deduction from any refund for fair use after the first 6 months of ownership if an attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful.
You have up to six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland.
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Ces - 19-Jul-18 @ 8:20 PM
Nezzie - Your Question:
Hi. I bought a portable jam heavy metal speaker from Currys just short of 7 months ago. I paid £64.99 (sale price)and it comes with a 2 year limited manufactureres warranty. It's been used no more than 10 times and it's just stopped working. I dont know if it's the powering on or actually the charging port thats faulty. Several chargers have been used to confirm they aren't the problem. Do I contact Currys with this or the manufacturer please? If its the manufacturer they say I post it to them at my expense. Is it right that it's at my expense even though the item is faulty?Thanks in advance

Our Response:
If you want to use consumer legislation:
After 6 months, it's up to you to prove the item was a faulty/not fit for purpose when you purchased it (an independent expert might be able to help)
If you want to use the manufacturer's guarantee, of course check the guarantee for details of whom to contact.
ConsumerRightsExpert - 26-Jun-18 @ 12:19 PM
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Rocky P - 12-Apr-18 @ 11:29 AM
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Clobs - 24-Mar-18 @ 2:18 PM
I bought Hoover washing machine from Argos 6 weeks ago and have experienced problems. I contacted Argos who told me to contact Hoover. On contacting them they said an engineer would be sent out but if the fault was mine I would be charged and persuaded me to take put an extended warranty. An engineer came out put a new motherboard in to rectify an E2 failing on machine but could find nothing wrong. On doing first wash afterwards it started making the noise again. After reading another person's posting I am annoyed as obviously Argos should have dealt with it. Now that I've taken extended warranty I presume I now need to deal with Domestic and General even though the machine is faulty - is this correct? Sorry for ling ramble - I am furious.
Snookums - 24-Feb-18 @ 9:29 AM
I bought a tefal iron and after 12 months it actually set on fire at the top and burst in to flames.I quickly unplugged it and the iron continused burning.I put it face down on the tiled bathroom floor and threw a damp towel over it.the flames went out but my home filled with black smoke and all surfaces had a sheet of dust on them.tefal have said they will send courtier to take the iron for inspectin but have not offered a replace mentioned. What are my rights?
Ju - 2-Feb-18 @ 2:03 PM
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