Consumer buying rights
Much of the UK consumer law is ambiguous and at times contradictory. The Sale of Goods Act gives us the right to have a faulty appliance exchanged if it fails within 6 months but it also gives retailers the right to reject a claim for a replacement if replacing it would be "disproportionately expensive compared to carrying out a repair". This often leads to conflict between the customer and a retailer and sometimes needs a small claims court to decide.
Washing machines (and other white goods appliances) under guarantee
- I don't want my washing machine repaired - I want it exchanged
- Repair company says I must wait in all day for their engineer, can they do this?
- My washer is under guarantee but the repair company can't send an engineer until next Wednesday and it's Thursday - can they do this?
- My appliance is under guarantee, but repair company say they'll charge me if their engineer can't find any fault. Can they do that?
- Repair company says the fault is not covered under the guarantee and I have to pay
- Washing machine is now out of guarantee, but I don't think I should have to pay for a repair
- If I take time off work and an engineer doesn't turn up, can I claim compensation?
Compensation, taking seller or repairer to court
- I want to claim compensation from the repair company or the retailer
- I'm thinking of taking them to the small claims court
- The company I bought my washing machine from has gone out of business, what are my rights?
More consumer advice from my Whitegoodshelp Blog
- EU 2 year guarantee. Sale of Goods Act gives us 6 years to claim for faulty appliances
- Full white goods help consumer advice section
Consumer issues (UK)
Many washing machine owners either fail to insist on their consumer rights, or conversely have an inflated opinion of the extent of them. Many retailers refuse to honour the Sale of Goods act unless threatened or faced with a very determined customer. This section aims to clarify our rights as consumers.
Although consumer advice on Washerhelp is written to specifically relate to washing machines it should equally apply to other products and services.
Which? Special offer
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Consumer rights on repairs
Consumer rights covering washing machine repairs come under the buying services rights section where the main expectations are that the work should be carried out with "reasonable care and skill, finished within a reasonable time and (if chargeable) at the cost agreed beforehand, or at a reasonable cost if you were unaware of a cost before".
Unfortunately the definition of "reasonable" is somewhat flexible to say the least, so conflict arises when the customer and retailer or engineer disagree on what is reasonable.
Other consumer issues
- If I buy a washing machine online, what are my rights?
- I bought a second hand washing machine from a trader, what are my rights?
- I bought a second hand washing machine in a private sale, what are my rights?
- The repair company only gives a 3 month guarantee on repairs. Is this reasonable / Challengeable?
UK Consumer Law resources
Free downloadable booklets from The Office of Fair Trading website
Remember, if you are buying your washing machine from home, perhaps over the internet or through a mail-order catalogue, you have additional rights.
Free downloadable booklets from The Citizens Advice Bureau website
Your rights, buying goods guide - (Free downloadable (pdf) booklet from Citizens Advice Bureau)
Guarantees - (Free downloadable (pdf) booklet from Citizens Advice Bureau)
Services - your rights - (Free downloadable (pdf) booklet from Citizens Advice Bureau)
Find your local consumer advice centre
Use these links to find the contact information for all the Consumer Support Networks operating in your area of the UK
The Department of Trade & Industry
The Department of Trade & Industry have produced a downloadable (pdf) guide - for traders. It's very useful to see because it's what the sellers (should) go by.