How to reject a faulty product and get your money back

If you want to reject a faulty product and get your money back, don't be fobbed off. Our guide explains how to contact the retailer and what to do if they can't help.

1 Stop using the product

As soon as you realise there's a problem with your product, stop using it. 

If you have to make a legal claim, it may damage your case if you continue to use it after you know there's a problem.

2 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 >

3 Contact the retailer

Contact the retailer you bought it from and tell it about the problem. Tell them that you want to 'reject' the item and get your money back. 

Under the Consumer Rights Act you only have 30 days to reject something. But a reputable retailer may give you a refund as a goodwill gesture.

If you are outside the 30-day right to reject, you  have to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace any goods or digital content which are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described.

If the 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.

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

Top Tips

  • Stop using the product immediately
  • Inform the retailer that you want to reject the item
  • Cite your rights under the Consumer Rights Act

4 Use your guarantee

If the product is within its guarantee period, check to see if the guarantee offers a refund in the circumstances you are in. 

If it doesn't, you could still contact the manufacturer explaining the problem and asking if it will give you a refund.

5 Don't be fobbed off

If the retailer or the manufacturer will not help and you believe you are within the reasonable time for rejecting the item, write to the retailer (not the manufacturer) formally rejecting the product under the Consumer Rights Act.

If you think you are beyond the limit for rejecting the product, you should ask for a free repair or replacement.

6 Did you pay by credit card? 

If you get no response from the retailer or if it has gone bust and you paid for an item costing more than £100 with a credit card, you can take your claim to the card company under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

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

7 Chargeback

Chargeback is not enshrined in law but is part of Scheme Rules, which participating banks subscribe to. 

It applies if you paid by debit card or on a credit card for an item costing less than £100.

You can ask your card provider to try and claw back the money you paid or part of it, although exact rules may vary between Visa, Maestro and American Express.

8 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.

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