Your consumer rights
If you buy a laptop that turns out to be faulty, you can choose to reject it and get a refund as long as you do this within a reasonable time.
If you bought your laptop before the 1 October 2015, you're covered under the Sale of Goods Act and usually have three to four weeks to reject it if it's faulty.
If you bought your laptop after 1 October 2015 you're covered under the Consumer Rights Act and have 30 days to reject it and get a refund if it's faulty.
Many retailers will offer a replacement, repair or refund without question, especially if the item is relatively new.
Use our template letter if you want to get a refund for a faulty laptop.
Repair or replacement
You also have the right to get faulty goods replaced or repaired if you prefer, or if it's too late to reject them and get a refund.
The retailer can choose the cheaper of the two options as long as they can show the option you want would be disproportionately expensive.
In the first six months from when you buy something, the onus is on the seller to prove it was of satisfactory quality when you received it.
You can use our letter to claim for a repair or a replacement laptop.
If you're having problems and the shop won't repair or replace your laptop, then report the shop to your local Trading Standards department as they're breaching your statutory rights.
It's worth telling the shop that you're going to do this as this could mean your complaint is then dealt with.
- You have the right to reject your item and get a refund within 30 days of purchase under the Consumer Rights Act
- You could also ask the retailer to repair or replace your item within six months of purchase
- You can also use your guarantee or warranty if your product develops a fault
Faults after six months
If you purchased your laptop more than six months ago, but are still within your warranty period you could consider claiming for a repair from the manufacturer.
However, you're also entitled to claim from the retailer directly, providing you can prove that the goods were not of a satisfactory quality or fit for purpose at the point of sale.
Before claiming it's important to check the following:
- How long ago did you purchase the laptop? As a general rule, the older the item the less likely you'll be able to prove that there was a fault at the time of purchase.
- Is it reasonable to expect this fault at this time? .
- Is the part that's gone wrong likely to be affected by wear and tear?
If you're outside your warranty period you can still claim from the retailer as your rights are not affected by the expiration of a warranty.
My laptop screen is cracked
Whether you’re entitled to a repair for a cracked screen will depend on the cause of the screen cracking.
If it's down to a fault, you'll be able to claim from retailer.
But if it's been caused by an accident, you'll need to pay for the repair yourself.
Returning faulty goods bought online
If your goods are faulty and don’t do what they’re supposed to, or don’t match the description given, you have the same rights under the Sale of Goods Act (for purchases made before 1 October 2015) and the Consumer Rights Act (for purchases made after 1 October 2015) as you have when buying face to face.
Any terms and conditions that you must cover the cost of returning an item wouldn’t apply where the goods being returned are faulty.
In addition to your other legal rights, the Consumer Contracts Regulations mean you have 14 calendar days from the day after you receive goods you buy online to return them, even if you’ve simply changed your mind.
Refunds must be paid within 14 calendar days after returning the goods, or evidence that they were returned.