A consumer advice service has reported a large rise in complaints from parents about pushchairs and other baby transport products.
Consumer Direct, the government’s consumer advice service, received 1,219 complaints about pushchairs and similar products in the three months up to February 2009. This was an increase of 67% on the same period in the previous year.
Almost half of these complaints were about products costing more than £300.
Complaints focused on customer service issues, business failures and products which were faulty on arrival or which developed faults soon after their first use.
Customers reported steering faults, wheels falling off and buggies collapsing, as well as problems such as badly fitting hoods and footrests.
Which? pushchairs expert Victoria Pearson said: ‘We’re not surprised to hear that people have problems when they first get their pushchairs. Some of the more expensive products have a lot a parts and can be difficult to fit together.
‘We’ve tested more than 100 pushchairs and buggies in the past three years and most of them pass our structural and durability tests with no problems. But we’ve seen examples where the wheel fixings are not robust enough, or where it is difficult to tell if the pushchair is correctly locked when you unfold it.
‘It’s vital to try a pushchair out before you buy it so you can check the quality of components such as the hood. We have a detailed reviews of all the pushchairs that we’ve tested that outline these kinds of problems from our tests.’
If your pushchair develops a fault, know your rights with our expert guide.
Which? pushchair reviews
Your rights when buying pushchairs
Pushchairs bought on the high street or online must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match their description. If they are not, shoppers may be able to claim a repair, replacement, or a partial or full refund.
Consumer Direct has tips for people buying buggies and pushchairs.
- Make sure you check the product as soon as you get it home. If you notice a fault, stop using it. If you return it to the retailer straight away, you should be able to ‘reject’ it and claim a full refund.
- If you have had some use out of the product before the fault becomes apparent you may lose your right to a full refund, but you could be entitled to a repair, like for like replacement or partial refund.
- Under remedies introduced in 2003, if a fault occurs within the first six months after purchase, it’s up to the trader to prove that the fault was not present at the time of sale.
- Any term requiring consumers to inspect the goods on delivery and inform the trader immediately of any faults or else lose the right to a refund or rejection, may potentially be an unfair term and therefore unenforceable.
- When buying a product costing more than £100 and under £30,000, using a credit card will give you extra protection if things go wrong.
- Keep your receipt as proof of purchase as this could help you when making a claim.
Anyone unclear about their rights or unsure how to make a claim can call Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit the Consumer Direct Website.
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