What are your rights when returning faulty goods?

Sale of Goods Act

Under the act, items must be 'as described', 'fit for purpose' and 'of satisfactory quality.' This gives shoppers the right to claim for a refund, repair or replacement up to six years after purchase in England and Wales, or five years in Scotland.

Claiming a refund

To claim a refund, you should return items to the retailer in a reasonable period of time – this is normally considered to be one month but will vary. For example if you buy a pair of skis in the summer you may not realise they are faulty until you try them out in winter.

Also, you don't need a receipt although it's reasonable for a retailer to ask for proof of purchase, such as a credit card statement.

Refund, repair or replacement?

Retailers will have different refund policies. However, most will offer a replacement, or to repair an item, rather than a refund if you've had the item for longer than a month.

During the first six months after a purchase, you don't have to provide any evidence that a product was faulty at the time of sale. After this time, however, the burden of proof falls on you.

Other avenues to explore

You can claim your money back through the Small Claims Court, as long as it was bought for less than £5,000 (£3,000 in Scotland) without solicitor's fees.

Alternatively, items purchased with a credit card over the value £100 (but under the value £30,000) are protected by the Consumer Credit Act, so you can claim redress from your credit card company.

Finally, if an item is still in warranty the manufacturer has to offer you a refund, replacement or repair.

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What about Northern Ireland.