“What rights do I have if I buy goods that arefaulty?”

If you buy something that turns out to be faulty you should let the trader know as soon as possible. So, for instance, if you bought an electric kettle which did not work or if a new washing machine leaked, you should go back to the trader or telephone them or write to them.

When must I inform the trader?

You should stop using the goods immediately and let the trader know about the fault as soon as possible.There is no set time limit on how quickly you need to let the trader know about the fault but the law says you have a ‘reasonable time’ to check and examine the goods, depending on individual circumstances. So, for example, a reasonable time to examine the electric kettle may be a week whereas a reasonable time to examine the washing machine may be a little longer.

Am I entitled to my money back if the goods are faulty? If you buy goods that turn out to be faulty you are generally entitled to your money back if you complain soon after purchase.You do not have to accept a credit note.

Can I ask the trader to replace the faulty goods? Yes.You can ask the trader to replace or repair the goods as long as it is practical for them to do so.

Is the trader entitled to repair the item rather than give me a refund? The trader has no right to insist on trying to repair the item and you may be entitled to all or some of your money back. However, you may prefer to let the trader repair the item. In this case you will still be entitled to your money back if the repair does not work and the item is still faulty.

Can I still get a refund if I can’t find my receipt? If goods are faulty, provided you can prove you bought the items from the trader you have the same entitlement even if you can’t find your receipt. For example, to prove your purchase you may have a cheque stub or a bank or credit card statement showing your purchase.

Do I have any further rights if I bought the goods on a credit card? If the goods you have bought are for more than £100 each and you have paid by credit card (not a debit or charge card) then you can also make a claim for the faulty goods from the credit card company, even if you only paid a deposit on your credit card, as long as the value of the goods is above £100. (This right is covered by the Consumer Credit Act 1974).

What should I do to get my money back, a replacement or a repair? Let the retailer know as soon as possible. If you are not satisfied:

If you are still not satisfied: Seek advice from Consumer Direct or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

REMEMBER If goods are faulty you are entitled to a refund if you complain soon after purchase. You may have the right to a replacement or repair if you prefer. You might still be entitled to something even if you don’t have a receipt. If you bought goods by credit card and paid more than £100 for each item you can also make a claim from the credit card company. For further advice contact Consumer Direct or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.