FAQ Friday: Product replacements

March 12, 2021

Every Friday, we share the answer to one of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) from the hundreds of consumers who contact us each week. This week we take a look at your rights when it comes to product replacements.

Q. If I buy a product which turns out to be faulty, do I have to contact the manufacturer directly to get a replacement or does the retailer have to replace it?

When you buy goods your contract is with the retailer or business that sold you the item so if there is a fault, it is up to them to fix it and not the manufacturer. In all cases you should act quickly. You can ask for a refund, repair, replacement or reduction in price as a solution. However, the law doesn’t set out exactly what you are entitled to when you return a faulty item, so it is up to you to negotiate with the business and agree the best option for you.

However, if it is a major fault (one where the item does not work as it is supposed to) and occurs within the first six months, it is assumed that the fault was there at the time of sale. In this case you have the option to reject the goods and end the contract.

Top Tip

When goods develop a fault which is not down to wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, you should not have to pay for the cost of repairs, replacement or for returning the product.

If you can’t resolve the issue with the business you have the option of making a claim against the business through the Small Claims procedure. The application fee is €25 and you can use it for claims worth up to €2,000.

Another option, if you paid by debit or credit card, is ask your bank to reverse the transaction. This is called a chargeback. You will need to show evidence that you tried to resolve the issue directly with the business first.

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