Manufacturers and suppliers are obliged by law to provide goods which are of satisfactory quality and fit the for purpose they were designed for. Depending on the circumstances you can request a refund, repair or replacement.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 builds on the "statutory rights" contained within the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and provides that if the item is faulty in some way then:-
- Up to 30 days from purchase – you can reject the items and get a full refund.
- Up to 6 months – if it cannot be repaired or replaced you should be entitled to a refund.
- Up to 6 years – if the item does not last as long as expected, you may be entitled a repair/replacement or to some money back.
The new Act also introduces:-
- Similar rights for digital content which goes wrong – this could include music, game or movie downloads, apps and other software.
- An Alternative Dispute Resolution procedure.
You should take your complaint up with the company involved as soon as possible. Because many of these disputes have a value of less than £10,000, they would be regarded as "small claims" and it may not be economic to instruct a Solicitor although you may wish to get some general advice on the merits of your claim.
Sometimes you may need to get a report from independent expert to confirm the nature of the problem and it is always advisable to collect as much evidence as you can. If you contact the supplier, always keep a copy of letters and email or make detailed notes of any telephone conversations you have. You should always keep the fault item until things are resolved.
Trading Standards is also another useful point of contact for these matters.