My baby monitor worked fine at first but it hasn’t lasted

Baby monitors must be of satisfactory quality and one key part of this is durability. So if your monitor is not living up to its claims, you may have a right to redress.

Getting a refund

Most monitors should be expected to last longer than a few months. 

However, considerations such as price, quality, usage and the environment you’re using it in must be taken into account.

If your baby monitor develops a fault within the first month, you have a right to reject it and get a refund. 

The exact timeframe for being eligible for a refund will depend on when you bought the monitor. 

If you bought it before 1 October 2015, your rights are outlined under the Sale of Goods Act but if you bought it after 1 October 2015, your rights will be under the Consumer Rights Act

Sporadic performance

If a fault develops within the first six months, the retailer must offer you either a repair or a replacement for free. 

After six months, the onus is on you to prove that the fault was there at the time of purchase

So, the longer you have a product the harder it will be to prove it was faulty when sold, especially if the fault only happens sporadically.

You may have to provide evidence to show the monitor is faulty, although most shops will either repair or replace the monitor if they can see an obvious fault.

Using a guarantee

You may also have a manufacturer’s guarantee - sometimes called a warranty. 

This doesn’t have to be offered but if it’s given free of charge it is legally binding. 

Always check it to see if you can claim for a free repair and/or replacement on your warranty.

You can use our letter to claim for a repair or replacement baby monitor if it's faulty. 

Checklist

  • Would the fault have been present on the day of sale even though it only became apparent later?
  • Is there a lack of durability that suggests the monitor wasn’t of satisfactory quality to start with?
  • Can you rule out possible misuse or accidental damage?
  • Does the fault mean that it doesn’t fit the description on the box or instructions?

Broken after a year of use

You have the full protection of the Sale of Goods Act if you bought your baby monitor before 1 October 2015 or the Consumer Rights Act if you bought your baby monitor after the 1 October 2015. 

Even after a year, your baby monitor still has to be of satisfactory quality and prove to be durable.

If you can rule out possible misuse or accidental damage, most baby monitors should be expected to last longer than 12 months, taking price, quality, usage and the environment into account.

But if you’ve had the monitor longer than six months the onus is on you to show there’s a fault with the monitor. 

Your case would be that the monitor should have reasonably been expected to last longer than one year. 

This lack of durability suggests that the monitor wasn’t of satisfactory quality to start with, so the shop has breached its contract with you.

The shop is obliged to repair the item or offer you a like-for-like replacement, a price reduction or a partial refund to reflect the use you’ve had of the baby monitor.

Again, if you have a manufacturer’s guarantee, check to see if you can claim for a free repair and/or replacement.

All replacements have broken

The Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Rights Act say you can switch between different remedies if you find you’re getting nowhere down the original route.

But you do have to give the retailer a reasonable time to honour a request before switching, and you can’t pursue two remedies at the same time.

If you’ve already had a number of replacements, all of which have broken, the shop is still in breach of contract as the replacements haven’t been of satisfactory quality.

And, given the significant inconvenience this has caused, you should now request a partial or full refund instead - depending on how much you’ve used it.

Long-range baby monitors

If the box or instructions state it’s a ‘long range monitor', it has to fit that description and be fit for that specific purpose. 

If it doesn’t, you have a claim against the shop.

If you take it back soon after discovering the problem, you’re entitled to a full refund or a replacement baby monitor that works at long range.  

The key question here is what ‘long range’ actually means. You may have to investigate the industry definition of this from other manufacturers.

However, if the instructions say it can work up to 40m away and it only worked 20m away, you’d have a very strong case.

Poor battery life

If the monitor was supplied with batteries then, as they formed part of the goods supplied, they would have to be of satisfactory quality and should be durable.

As there are a whole host of different batteries, some are more durable than others. 

But, if your baby monitor is battery powered, you’d expect the monitor to last a reasonable period of time before it needed new batteries.

If you’re using top-branded batteries and have to regularly replace them, there may be a fault with the monitor. 

If you take the monitor back within the first six months, the item would be deemed faulty unless the shop could prove otherwise.

The best remedy would probably be to ask for a replacement, then if you still had the same problem, request a partial or full refund.

It may of course be the case that just the batteries are at fault, and a replacement set will resolve the problem. 

If the original batteries which came with the monitor failed very quickly, the shop should replace them at no cost to you.

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