My baby's cot has broken, what are my rights?

A cot is one of the most important items you can buy for your baby, so it can be particularly frustrating if it breaks or you discover it has a fault.

Cot safety standards

When you buy a cot for your baby, the very minimum you expect is that it will be well-made and durable – and that's exactly what the law requires.

Finding out that an item you have purchased is faulty is always frustrating, but there are additional concerns when that item is so essential to the wellbeing of your baby.

Even a minor delay in getting a replacement can be stressful, which is why you should be aware of your rights when it comes to faulty cots and baby furniture.

Cots are safety regulated which means that new cots must conform to the British Standard BS EN 716-2.2008.

This standard applies to safety essentials such as cot depth and the distance between bars.

In addition to these regulations you also have a right to expect a product to be fit for the purpose you’ve bought it for.

In summary

  • You have a right to a refund, repair or replacement under the Consumer Rights Act
  • Your contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer
  • If your product is out of guarantee, you could still have rights under the Consumer Rights Act

Return your faulty cot

If your cot is faulty, you have the right to a refund, repair or replacement under the Consumer Rights Act, which replaced the Sale of Goods Act on 1 October 2015.

So, even if your guarantee has run out, you could still have rights and should exercise them as soon as you discover a fault.

Your contract is with the retailer not the manufacturer, so contact the retailer if you discover a fault with your cot or baby furniture. If your guarantee hasn't run out, you may prefer to make a complaint using your guarantee.

If you decide to contact the retailer to complain about your faulty goods, it's up to the retailer to help you remedy the situation. So, if the retailer tells you that you should speak to the manufacturer, they are incorrect so don't be fobbed off.

We have a handy letter-generator tool, which can help you to start the process.

Get a refund for your cot

If you discover your cot has a fault, you should raise the issue with the retailer as soon as possible if you want to get a refund.

Under the Consumer Rights Act you have the right to a full refund, but only if you return the cot within the first 30 days.

You should request a refund as soon as possible after finding the fault, as the right to reject the product and get a refund is limited to 30 days from the date you receive your product.

After this time you’re only legally entitled to a refund in limited circumstances, although some retailers may offer you one.

If you prefer, you could ask the retailer to repair or replace the item. You should let the retailer know your preference when you get in touch.

You can use our template letter for returning faulty goods if your cot develops a fault.

Get your cot repaired or replaced

If the fault is discovered after 30 days of when you receive the cot, you could look for a repair or replacement.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, if you are outside the first 30 days, you can ask the retailer to repair or replace any goods which are found to be faulty. If you are within the first six months, the onus is on the retailer to show they weren't faulty when you received them.

You can let the retailer know whether you would prefer a repair or replacement, but just bear in mind that the retailer may be able to decide which of these options to offer - especially if the cost of providing your preferred choice is disproportionately higher than another option which would also resolve the fault.

The retailer is obligated to repair or replace your cot without causing a significant inconvenience, so they may choose to offer you a temporary replacement or a full or partial refund if this option involves your cot being sent away for a significant period of time.

You can use our template letter to ask for a faulty item to be repaired or replaced.

If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you can then claim a refund or a price reduction if you wish to keep the cot.

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 >

Using a guarantee

If your cot or baby furniture comes with a guarantee, you may wish to use this to get your cot repaired or replaced.

This is a contract between you and the manufacturer, so they must do whatever they've set out in the guarantee.

Usually a guarantee will enable you to get your item repaired or replaced if it develops a fault.

But it's worth bearing in mind that you still have rights under the Consumer Rights Act - or Sale of Goods Act if you bought your cot before 1 October 2015 - even if your guarantee has expired.

A manufacturer's guarantee doesn't replace these rights, so if a retailer tries to tell you otherwise, make sure you assert your rights.

Finding a fault after a longer period

If it has been some time since you purchased the cot - for example six months or longer - you'll need to prove that the fault was present at the time of purchase.

Under the Consumer Rights Act and previous Sale of Goods Act, the burden is on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time of delivery if the fault was discovered after six months.

In practice, this may require some form of expert report, opinion or evidence of similar problems across the product range.

You could claim directly against the manufacturer if your guarantee or warranty is still valid - this can sometimes be quicker.

However, guarantees and warranties differ from one manufacturer to another and may involve you being charged for a repair.

Make sure you're familiar with the terms and conditions before speaking to the manufacturer so you know what to expect.

If you decide to buy a new cot, you may find the following cot bed reviews helpful as you make your choice.

Please tell us what you think of the Which? Consumer Rights website.

Your feedback is vital in helping us improve this site. All data will be treated confidentially. This survey will take approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Please take our survey so we can improve our website for you and others like you.