Your consumer rights 

When you buy a washing machine it must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose.

If you buy a washing machine 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 washing machine before the 1 October 2015, you're covered under the Sale of Goods Act and usually have three to four weeks to reject it and get a refund if it's faulty.

If you bought your washing machine 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.

Use our template letter if you want to get a refund for a faulty washing machine

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. 

Within the first six months of purchase the onus is on the retailer to prove that a fault is not because the washing machine was of poor quality or unfit for purpose at the point of sale.

The retailer can choose the cheaper of the two options as long as they can show the option you want would be disproportionately expensive.

You can use our letter to claim for a repair or a replacement washing machine.

If you're having problems and the shop won't repair or replace your washing machine then it should be reported to your local Trading Standards department as they are 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.

Faults after six months

If you purchased your washing machine 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 under the it's important to check the following:

  • How long ago did you purchase the washing machine? As a general rule, the older the washing machine the less likely you are to be able to prove that there was a fault at the time of purchase.
  • Is it reasonable to expect this fault at this time? For example, after 18 months it may be reasonable to expect a part of the powder drawer to chip, but not for the heating element to overheat and break.
  • Is the part that's gone wrong likely to be affected by wear and tear? For example ,if a non-moving part of a washing machine was made of the wrong material and degrades to a point where it breaks, you can argue that it's reasonable to expect this part to have lasted despite use.

If you're outside of your warranty period you can still claim from the retailer as your rights are not affected by the expiration of a warranty.

Returning faulty goods bought online

If your washing machine is faulty and doesn’t do what it's supposed to, or doesn’t match the description given, you have the same rights under the Sale of Goods Act (if you purchased goods before 1 October 2015) and the Consumer Rights Act (if you purchase goods after 1 October 2015) as you have when buying in person.

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.

Find a washing machine you can rely on

Our independent washing machine reviews guide you to the Best Buys you can rely on, and warn against Don’t Buy models to avoid. Find the best washing machine for you.

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.