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How to deal with Faulty Electronic Goods (UK)

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So you've saved up, paid a little bit more than you wanted, but when you get it home, it doesn't work. Some retailers are not great at dealing with these issues, and a lot of people aren't always completely aware of their rights. This guide will help you out.
What you'll need: 
Proof of Purchase (This can be a receipt or a bank/credit card statement)
Firstly, and foremostly, return the item back to where you bought it as soon as the problem emerges. If there is a proven fault with the product, they need to offer either a replacement, a repair or a refund. Its important to note at this point that if you accept a repair, you give up some rights.
Often a major sticking point, especially with electronics, is proving the fault exists. Especially if the store does not have a dedicated tech department. It is somewhat of a grey area, and some retailers will refer you to the manufacturer for tech support. However, your contract (i.e. the receipt or guarantee) is with the retailer, NOT the manufacturer. The manufacturer will not be able to refund you or provide a replacement.
If you are having issues proving that the item is faulty you may wish to show it to an independent expert who will be able to verify your claims. However, you will have to handle these costs at first, and perhaps claim them back later on. If you have proven that the item carries an inherent factory fault that makes it unfit for purpose then you are well within your rights to request a refund.
There is no set time limit to what should be the useful lifespan of electronic items, but its generally agreed that if a fault occurs within six months, and is not due to normal wear and tear, then the retailer should offer to repair, refund or replace.
If the fault is minor and can be easily repaired, the retailer may insist on this. A repair, is possible, should be carried out at no cost to you and at minimal inconvenience. If a repair is impossible, then a like-for-like replacement should be offered.
If you feel that the retailer has not carried out their obligations, you can consult the citizen's advice bureau and, ultimately, take them to small claims court. There is a small cost involved to taking them to court, but this is recouped if you win. You can also claim for any other payments you have had to make, such as to an independent party who has verified the product's fault, or interest incurred on a credit card payment.
Its horrible when electrical products break down, but remember these steps and you should be fine. Most retailers are reasonable enough and will do their upmost to help you out. Only on the rarest occasions should you have to go through these steps.
Although Citizen's Advice cannot take sides, they may indicate if they think your case is worth pursuing to court.
If there is no fault and you simply change your mind, your are NOT entitled to a refund, unless the item was bought online or by mail order.
If you aware of the fault when you buy something or are given a better price because of it, you may have lost some of your rights.
Sometimes these things can take time, but if you really feel aggrieved, make sure you persevere.


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