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Faulty gift advice for consumers

  • Categorized in: News

Faulty gift advice for consumers

If your Christmas gift turns out to be faulty you have rights. Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith explains: 

“The Consumer Rights Act means consumers are better protected than ever before, but awareness of the law is low – a third of people haven’t even heard of it*. The rules on refunds and online purchases help to remove blurred lines, which in the past prevented customers from receiving fair service.

“If you are let down by a retailer, you have the right to complain. If you’ve spoken with the retailer and your complaint remains unresolved after a reasonable amount of time you can take your problem to the consumer ombudsman – a free and easy alternative to a small claims court. It takes just 10 minutes to complete an online form at www.consumer-ombudsman.org.”

Further advice about faulty gifts is available on the following websites:

If you’ve experienced a problem with a retailer:

  • Make sure you complain – the company can’t fix the problem if it doesn’t know about it
  • Speak to the retailer about your issue – they may be able to fix the problem quickly and easily
  • It can be frustrating but keep your anger in check – being assertive rather than aggressive is more likely to get you the solution you want
  • Don’t worry about making a fuss and don’t be embarrassed – it’s your right to complain
  • Admit your part in the problem if you had any fault
  • If you’ve spoken to the retailer and the complaint remains unresolved after eight weeks, you can approach the Consumer Ombudsman, who will look into your dispute
  • If the company is at fault, the ombudsman will aim to return you to the position you would have been in had the issue not occurred

*According to research from Citizens Advice and the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), 34% of people haven’t heard of the new Consumer Rights Act (Which?, 2015).