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 it 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 Get a refund
Make a faulty goods complaint
You could be entitled to a repair, replacement or a refund even if the product is out of warranty, answer some simple questions and Which? can help you start your complaint for free
Contact the retailer you bought it from and tell it about the problem. Tell it that you want to reject the item and get your money back.
Under the Consumer Rights Act you have only 30 days to reject something. But a reputable retailer may give you a refund after that time as a goodwill gesture.
If you're outside the 30-day right to reject, you have to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace any goods or digital content that 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.
The retailer can't make any deduction from a refund in the first six months following an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement.
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 your circumstances.
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 won't 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.
Chargeback is not enshrined in law, but it's 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 to 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. It focuses 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 it's not possible to reach a resolution that satisfies both parties – the consumer ombudsman will advise you on what to do next.