If something you've bought clearly doesn't satisfy any of the three criteria of being 'satisfactory quality' 'fit for purpose' or 'as described', then you're entitled to claim under the Consumer Rights Act (CRA).
Making A Claim under Consumer Rights Act
If you want to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, there are a few ways of resolving the issue depending on the circumstances and nature of the purchase. The important thing to note is that your rights as per the Consumer Rights Act are against the retailer who sold you the item, and not the original manufacturer.
What you're entitled to claim is dependant on how much time has elapsed since you made the purchase:
Claim on CRA Up To 30 Days After Purchase
You have the right to reject any goods after purchase for up to 30 days in exchange for a full refund, providing that the goods are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose, or not as described. This right doesn't apply to digital content. Furthermore, the period is less than 30 days for many perishable goods. In such cases the period is determined by what might be deemed a reasonable period for the goods to last (e.g. its use-by date)
After 30 Days Since Purchase – Repair or Replace
After the 30 day right to reject, you have to give the merchant one opportunity to repair or replace the item. It's your right to choose whether the goods are repaired or replaced, however the retailer can refuse if they can demonstrate that your choice is overwhelmingly expensive compared to the other option.
If the refund or replacement doesn't work out, you can claim a full refund – or a reduced refund if you want to keep the item.
If any of the following are true you're entitled to a refund for your purchase:
- There is a disproportionate cost between that of the repair and replacement value
- Repair/Replacement is impossible
- There is a significant inconvenience for repair or replacement
- The repair would take unreasonably long
- Repair or replacement has been unsuccessful
If a repair or replacement has failed but you don't want a refund, you have a right under the new act to request that the retailer continues to make an effort to rectify the initial purchase.
For up to the first 6 months any faults with your purchase are presumed to have been there from the time of delivery, and the onus is on the merchant to prove otherwise. Furthermore, the merchant cannot suggest a partial refund, or any kind of recompense for your usage of the item, with the one exception of motor vehicles. For cars etc. you may agree a reasonable deduction for any use you've had of the vehicle so far.
After 6 Months Since Purchase
After 6 months the onus is on you to prove that the product was 'faulty at the time of delivery'. That is to say that the poor quality of the product, or a defect has led to it expiring before it's expected lifetime. This may sound impossible, but it's quite possible with some expert opinion, or evidence of other problems consumers have had with that product.