When you purchase goods from a trader, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that they should be of satisfactory quality.
The goods should be the same as any sample or model that you were shown, match the seller’s description and be fit for any purpose that you made known to the trader.
In this instance, you can argue that this is not the case as they differ to the picture and description on the packaging.
Purchases Under 30 Days
If it has been 30 days or less since you bought the goods, then you could be entitled to return them to the trader for a full refund. This is called your short term right to reject.
It would be a good idea to provide evidence to prove that the goods differ to the advertised products, by showing the difference between the item and the picture on the packaging.
You should be refunded within 14 days of the goods being returned to the trader and this should be by the same method that you paid, for example a cash refund if you paid in cash.
After the First 30 Days
After the first 30 days, you can also ask the trader to repair the goods or provide you with a like for like replacement, and they should do this within a reasonable period and without causing you any significant inconvenience.
If is not possible for the trader to repair or replace the goods, then you can decide to keep them and ask for a discount or return them for a refund.
If you ask the trader for a repair or replacement within the first 6 months of purchasing the goods, then it falls to the trader to prove they were not faulty when sold to you – after this 6-month period it then falls to you to prove otherwise. You are only required to give the trader one opportunity to repair or replace the goods.
Failed Repairs / Faulty Replacement Items
If a repair by the trader fails or you discover that the replacement item is also faulty then you can decide whether to give the trader another opportunity to repair or replace the goods or whether to return them for a refund, this is called your final right to reject.
It is important to note that if you have had the goods for more than 6 months, then the trader may be entitled to offer only a partial refund to account for the use and wear and tear.
So, How Can I Fix This?
If you have not already done so, then you should try speaking with the trader about your problem to see if you can come to an agreement.
You can then follow this up with a more formal letter of complaint – it is best to send this by signed for mail which will allow you to check that it’s been received, alternatively you could send an email with a read receipt. You should also give the trader a reasonable timescale to reply.
Advice Direct Scotland run consumeradvice.scot, Scotland’s national consumer advice service. Our specialist consumer advisers can offer advice and assistance on a range of consumer-related matters. For more information, you can call 0808 164 6000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, or visit www.consumeradvice.scot.