Your rights when you buy a faulty product

April 10, 2015

If you discover that you have bought a product that is faulty, whether it’s a major or minor fault you have rights to protect you. As long as the fault was not pointed out to you before you bought the product, you have four possible options:

1)      Repair: If you discover a fault with a product that you bought, you’re entitled to have the item repaired or replaced free of charge as long as you didn’t cause the damage. If the fault occurs within the first 6 months of owning the item, it is accepted that the fault was there when you bought it.

2)      Replacement: After you bought the goods and you discover a fault within a reasonable timeframe, the seller may replace the product rather than repair it if it seems like repairing it would be too costly or if it can’t be repaired. For example, if you bought a piece of furniture and it is structurally faulty it may make more sense for the seller to just replace it. If you opt for a replacement, it should be the same as the item you bought, or of similar quality and price.

3)      Refund: If you bought something and it doesn’t work from the outset, then you are entitled to reject the goods and get a refund from the person who sold you the product.

4)      Reduction in price: If the item has been repaired or replaced and it is still not working correctly, you could look to have a reduction in the price you paid for it, if you are happy to put up with the fault.

Act quickly

As soon as you notice a fault with something that you bought make sure to return it to the seller as quickly as you can. When you buy a something, your contract is with the seller so it is up to them to fix it. Bring proof of purchase with you such as a receipt, gift receipt or copy of your debit or credit card statement. Avoid delaying as you may only be able to avail of a repair or replacement.

Unhappy with what the seller is offering you?

If you have gone back to the seller with your faulty product and the retailer is not happy to sort out your problem, you should write a letter of complaint to them. If you are unsure of what to include in your letter, use our sample complaint letter templates. If you get no response from the retailer or are unhappy with what they offer, you may use the Small Claims process as long as the claim does not exceed €2,000. There is a fee of €25 for this service. If you paid for the goods by credit or debit card, contact your card provider to see if they will reverse the transaction. This is called a chargeback. Remember, your rights are still the same if you bought the item in a sale.

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