You can cancel your purchase and get a full refund when a fault occurs within 30 days of receiving the goods. You must:
- inform the business in writing within 30 days of receiving the product
- return the goods to the business, at their expense and without delay
The business must:
- give you a refund for the product within 14 days of receiving the returned goods
- use the same payment method you used to buy the product, unless you agree otherwise
- cancel any other service you ordered with the goods – for example, insurance for a sofa
During the 30 days after you receive a product that is faulty, you also have the option to ask the business for a repair or a replacement.
When a good has a fault, you can decide if you want a repair or replacement. It should be provided by the business:
- within a reasonable time
- without significant inconvenience to you
- free of charge
You should act quickly and tell a business when you find a problem. Under the Statute of Limitations, you have 6 years to take a case against a business. During the first year if you have a dispute with a business they have to show that the product was not faulty when you received it.
If the fault is serious you can ask the business for a refund or price reduction. You can also do this if you have problems getting a repair or replacement. For instance:
- the business has not offered a repair/replacement
- the business cannot organise a repair/replacement within a reasonable time
- the same/different issue happens again despite the business trying to fix it
- the business says it is too expensive to fix the fault
You must inform the business in writing that you are cancelling the purchase. You should return the goods to the business, at their expense and without undue delay
The business must give you a refund within 14 days. They should use the same payment method you used to buy the product, unless you agree otherwise. They should cancel any service you ordered with them when you bought the product. For example, insurance for a sofa.
Both you and the business should agree what an appropriate reduction is. Consumer law says that the price reduction will be the difference between the price you agreed and the reduced value of the goods due to the issue. It should cover the time that the goods did not match your contract.
If you’ve paid for the goods, the business has to refund you the difference in price due to the issue. They should:
- send you the refund within 14 days
- use the same method of payment you used to buy the product, unless you agree otherwise
- not charge you any extra fees
If you have not fully paid for the goods, you can consider withholding payments that are due to the business until they resolve your issue. The amount you withhold must match the reduction in value due to the issue.
You should always explain your issue to the business first and ask that they respond to you. You must then tell the business in writing that you want to use your right to withhold payment. You should fully consider their reply before you withhold a payment.
Know your rights
When you have a problem with a product you should contact the business and explain what the issue is. Most problems can be sorted out quickly and simply with the business.
You should know your rights and if they cover your issue. You can do this by looking at the legal obligations of a business. The Consumer Rights Act 2022 requires that a business supplies a product that:
- is fit for the purpose it is normally used for
- works for a reasonable time with normal use
- can be used for the purpose the business knew you bought it for
- matches what is outlined in your contract
- matches any descriptions or samples you saw
- is installed correctly by the business – when it applies
If a business has not met their legal obligations to you, they have to fix the issue. The Consumer Rights Act 2022 outlines the actions you can take to fix the problem. The key actions you can choose are:
- cancel your purchase – this applies when you contact the business about the fault within 30 days of receiving the goods
- inform the business that you want them to repair the product
- inform the business that you want them to replace the product
- obtain a full refund – this applies when you have a major fault or if a repair/replacement is not an option
When you exercise your consumer rights you should always do it in writing. You should also make sure you keep a record of all your dealings with a business.
Other actions you can take
If a business does not fix your issue as set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2022, you can take other actions. You should always send a final formal written complaint to the business and consider their response before you take your next steps.
In certain sectors, regulators or independent bodies may be able to help you to resolve your issue or provide you with more information. You may also want to consider taking a legal action against a business. Read more on how to complain.