How to get a faulty product replaced or repaired

You have rights if you want to get a faulty product replaced or repaired. Find out what options you have and which one is right for you.

1 Use our faulty goods complaint tool

Make a claim

Use this tool to ask for a refund, repair or replacement. Once you’ve answered some simple questions, you will receive an email with a ready-to-go letter to send off to the retailer.
Start your letter >

2 Contact the retailer

As soon as you are aware of any issue contact the retailer you bought it from. 

Tell them about the problem and ask for a refund, a replacement, or arrange to have it repaired. 

3 Use your 30-day right to reject

Under the Consumer Rights Act you have an early right to reject goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described and get a full refund.

But this right is limited to 30 days from the date you purchased the product.

However, this right to a refund doesn’t apply to digital content.

Under the Sale of Goods Act, the time limit was a far less clear-cut three to four weeks.

4 Use the Consumer Rights Act

If you're outside the 30-day right to reject, the retailer has an opportunity to repair or replace any faulty goods or digital content before offering a full refund.

If you discover the fault within the first six months from delivery, it's presumed to have been there from the time of delivery - unless the retailer can prove otherwise.

During this time it's up to retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there at the time of delivery - it's not up to you to prove that it was.

If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund or a price reduction - if you wish to keep the product.

No deduction can be made from a refund in the first six months following an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement.

This is not the case with purchases made under the Sale of Goods Act.

Under the Sale of Goods Act, the retailer must either repair or replace faulty goods 'within a reasonable time but without causing significant inconvenience'. And the retailer can make deductions from a refund for fair use.

5 Use your guarantee

If the product is within its guarantee period, check the terms of the guarantee. Find out if the manufacturer will offer a repair or replacement.

Top Tips

  • Contact the retailer - your contract is with the retailer and not the manufacturer
  • Cite your rights under the Consumer Rights Act
  • Don’t be fobbed off - you can always take the retailer to the small claims court

6 Go to the ombudsman

The Consumer Ombudsman deals with all consumer complaints in sectors not already covered by an ombudsman scheme, with a focus on home maintenance, improvements or installation services, retail, second-hand cars and car repairs as well as servicing.

You can escalate your complaint to the ombudsman providing you have given the company a reasonable amount of time - usually up to eight weeks - to resolve your problem.

If the company is willing to work with the ombudsman to resolve your complaint, the aim is to reach a resolution within 10 working days.

If the company is unwilling to work with the ombudsman – or a resolution that both parties are satisfied with can't be reached – you will be advised by the Consumer Ombudsman on what to do next.

If you want to escalate your complaint to the ombudsman, you can use our advice on taking your complaint to an ombudsman.

7 Claim from your credit card

If you get no response from the retailer or if it has gone bust, and you paid for the item with a credit card, you can take the claim to your credit card company.

You have the same rights from your finance provider as you have against the retailer. 

8 Don't be fobbed off

If the retailer or manufacturer still won't help, write to the retailer (not the manufacturer) saying that, under the Consumer Rights Act or Sale of Goods Act, the item is not of satisfactory quality and you are exercising your right to have it repaired or replaced. 

If it continues to fail to offer a remedy and you want to resolve the dispute through court action, start following the steps in the Practice Direction on Pre-action Conduct.

Court action should be considered as a last resort so it's best to make every effort to resolve the issue before considering taking your claim to the small claims court. 

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