KremmenUK 15:01 12 Aug 2009

I am led to believe that according to EU rules, everything sold must have a 2 year guarantee ?

Why do we still mainly only get one year ?

  WolframBlitzen 15:08 12 Aug 2009

UK law states 5 years depending on what it is and this doesn't mean you are entitled to a replacement for 5 years. you are entitled to a certain percentage off the cost of the repair but YOU have to proove the fault was there from the begining

  dagnammit 15:34 12 Aug 2009

Because the UK only adopts the crap parts of the EU rules.

  Forum Editor 18:16 12 Aug 2009

There's a degree of confusion over this, and not just amongst consumers - lots of retailers are in the dark when it comes to knowing the facts.

1. Don't confuse a guarantee with consumer law - there's no such thing as a 2 year compulsory guarantee, and certainly not a five-year one. A guarantee (or warranty) is something that a manufacturer or retailer voluntarily provides on products, there is no legal requirement for one at all.

2.When you buy something from a shop, or from an online retailer your contract is with that supplier, and not with the manufacturer. It is to the supplier that you look for a remedy when something goes wrong. Many suppliers will attempt to absolve themselves from liability by telling you that "this has to go back to the makers" or that "you must contact the manufacturer, it's nothing to do with us".

Both those statements are untrue - you should not deal with a manufacturer directly unless there's a very real advantage in doing so. A manufacturer's warranty is now ruled by European law to form a legally binding contractual obligation, which was not previously the case, so it's worth remembering. Although your first port of call must be the retailer you can resort to a manufacturer, but only insofar as the terms of the warranty are concerned - there's no sale contract between you, that is between you and the retailer.

2. If a fault develops in a computer within six months of the date of purchase the law assumes that the fault was 'inherent' - it was there on the day of purchase - unless the retailer can demonstrate otherwise. You don't have to prove anything, and the retailer must replace the item or refund the purchase price in full.

3. After the six month period you will still be protected (by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 as amended), but you may be asked to prove that the fault has not been caused by accidental damage, or wear and tear. The law doesn't define a period within which you must claim against the retailer, but it can be up to six years in some cases, although much would depend on the item involved, and the circunstances of the sale. The law makes much use of the word 'reasonable' when talking about claim periods, and what is reasonable in one set of circumstances may not be so in another.

4. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can only obtain satisfaction under the law if you have a purchase receipt - there is no legal requirement for one at all; you may present anything that is an acceptable proof of purchase, like a copy of a bank or credit card statement - a shop cannot refuse your claim on the grounds that you don't have a receipt, although some may try.

  Forum Editor 19:05 12 Aug 2009

It's not a question of only adopting the 'crap parts of EU rules' at all. We have by far the best Consumer protection legislation in Europe, and possibly in the world. There's certainly nothing 'crap' about it.

  dagnammit 19:14 12 Aug 2009

"2. If a fault develops in a computer within six months of the date of purchase the law assumes that the fault was 'inherent' - it was there on the day of purchase - unless the retailer can demonstrate otherwise. You don't have to prove anything, and the retailer must replace the item or refund the purchase price in full."

Why do many retailers insist on repairing?

  Forum Editor 19:34 12 Aug 2009

I should have added that a repair is an option offered to retailers by the legislation, provided that it is carried out within a reasonable time (there's that word again), and is satisfactory - i.e. you are completely satisfied that the fault has gone.

Sometimes, in the rush to get through as many threads as I can in a short time I type too quickly for my own good - thanks for highlighting my omission.

  dagnammit 19:43 12 Aug 2009

I was pointing it because I didn't know how that part of the law works. If I may ask a question and appologise to the OP for a thread hijack, then........

if I'm not satisfied with the repair, or a new fault appears soon after the repair can I refuse the repair option? and what happens in the event of stalemate? ie. Seller refuses to replace, I refuse to allow a 2nd repair.
(This is all in the first 6 months)

  Forum Editor 20:38 12 Aug 2009

Your guiding principle in all consumer/supplier negotiations should be to avoid a stand-off if at all possible.

When goods are faulty within six months of the date of purchase you can require the seller to repair the goods, reduce the price, or rescind the contract (which means returning the full amount of your payment), provided you successfully claim that the goods were not in accordance with the contract at the time of delivery. Which means that it's your choice - you decide whether you'll allow the retailer to attempt a repair.

If you go for the repair option and it is not carried out to your satisfaction you may revert to asking for a refund, but be prepared to meet resistance - not all retailers are aware of the full scope of the law, and not all of them are prepared to meet their obligations if they are.

Stay focused, and be firm - you have rights, and they cannot be compromised by anything the retailer may say or do.

  WolframBlitzen 04:22 16 Aug 2009

The retailers are always going to resist the refund option as hard as they can. They want to keep the money in their pockets as much as you want a working product.

Be careful when refusing the repair though. I’m sure I read somewhere in the law that the resolution must be “Convenient and at the least possible cost to both parties” and the key word there is “both” it’s cheaper and more convenient for the retailer to repair something than it is for them to replace it or refund it. It’s also usually cheaper which is why you often see “...We will attempt to repair your product, if it is uneconomical to repair then we will...”

It can be a long-winded process and you tend to have to do A B and C before you get anywhere, unfortunately. Generally though, things are repaired first time around and you don’t have the same problem again.

Usually, if you talk to the right people, Managers, the area office or the head office, and explain to them what’s gone on, particularly if it’s been repaired for the same fault more than twice, you’ll get what you want.

Hope that helps

-The Blitz Man

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