It’s National Customer Service Week and this has shone a spotlight on good and bad firms and how they have faired over the past few months. We are doing online shopping now more than ever, and with that comes an array of problems with deliveries and a host of fob offs that retailers use. After identifying 30 different fob offs that Currys PC World use when dealing with complaints, Consumer Champion Scott Dixon has taken a look at 10 of the most common in this excellent guest post.

 

 

Consumers won’t forget those firms that have done the right thing and firms who have frankly taken liberties with their staff and customers. Firms that don’t treat their customers fairly will eventually end up with none at all. Once trust has been lost in a business, it’s very difficult to turn it around.

Here are the 10 most popular fob offs you are likely to face when dealing with retailers.

 

YOU NEED TO CONTACT THE COURIER FIRM

This fob off is trotted out when a delivery has gone missing, is late or has simply not turned up.

The contract you have entered in to is with the retailer and not the courier firm. It is up to the retailer to resolve this under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

 

YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO THE MANUFACTURER

This is a catch all fob off that is used for all appliances that have been sold by many retailers.

Staff often use this in their shops for Apple products and I have seen it used for fridges, TVs, washing machines and other appliances.

Your contract is with the retailer – not the manufacturer. It is up to the retailer to resolve this under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

 

THE WARRANTY DOES NOT COVER THIS FAULT

Yet another popular fob off and blatant lie. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you free cover for up to 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland.

Goods need to be:

  • Fit for purpose
  • As described
  • Satisfactory quality
  • Last a reasonable length of time

The warranty is irrelevant.

 

YOU DID NOT TAKE OUT A CARE PLAN – THERE IS NOTHING WE CAN DO

You do not need to take out a warranty or a care plan – these are simply commission-based sales for staff.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you free cover for up to 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland.

Goods need to be:

  • Fit for purpose
  • As described
  • Satisfactory quality
  • Last a reasonable length of time

You are entitled to a repair, refund or a replacement if the goods you have bought do not meet the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

 

WE CANNOT GIVE A REFUND AS THE PRODUCT IS OUT OF WARRANTY

You do not need to rely on a warranty as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and your consumer rights override it.

You are entitled to a refund within the first 30 days from the date of purchase.

If you discover any faults within 6 months of ownership, the presumption is that the fault was there from the outset unless the retailer can prove otherwise. This is where you apply the reverse burden of proof.

The onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time you purchased the product.

You need to give the retailer one opportunity to remedy the faults and if this fails, you have the right to reject the goods and demand a full refund without deductions.

If 6 months has elapsed, the onus is on you to evidence that the fault was there at the time of purchase. This can be evidenced by an expert opinion or evidence that this is a common fault with this product.

YOU DO NOT HAVE A RECEIPT SO WE CANNOT GIVE A REFUND 

Proof of purchase is all that is required – a bank or credit card statement will suffice.

A bank statement will match up with the price at the time on their systems and the item you have bought.

Proof of purchase is all that is required with the item you have in your possession. I would insist that they check their systems if the retailer says that it doesn’t prove you bought that item. Everything can be traced nowadays with digital footprints and technology.

You might have bought 3 items at the same time, so the amount on your statement might not match the faulty item’s price.

All items need to match the Consumer Rights Act 2015, so if 1 out of 3 items is faulty and you have proof of purchase – the retailer is responsible.

Your contract is with the retailer – it is their problem to resolve it under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, not yours.

 

IT WAS BOUGHT IN A SALE – WE DO NOT ACCEPT RETURNS ON THAT BASIS 

Wrong – your consumer rights remain the same under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 unless the faults were pointed out at the time of purchase. 

 

YOU / WE WILL HAVE TO RETURN IT TO THE MANUFACTURER 

This is one of the most popular fob offs and lies used by retailers.

Your contract is with the retailer – not the manufacturer. It is therefore up to the retailer to resolve the problem under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

You are entitled to a repair, refund or a replacement. 

 

WE NEED TO CHARGE AN ADMIN FEE TO PROCESS A REFUND FOR GOODS THAT HAVE NOT ARRIVED

This is just another rip-off and fob off that is illegal and not applicable.

If you have not received the goods within 30 days (or date agreed), you are due a full refund – not a refund minus an admin fee.

This is enshrined in consumer law under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

 

CORONAVIRUS MEANS THAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING DELAYS 

Coronavirus is the default and new catch all excuse for everything including woeful customer service everywhere.

It is wearing thin with me and everyone else now. Firms have had plenty of time to adapt. I won’t put up with it now and neither should you.

And neither will I Scott, many thanks for this guest post with the top 10 consumer service fob offs. I’m sure that readers will find them very useful!

 

 

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