Second-hand cars top consumer complaints list

14 July 2008
More than 120,000 complaints have been made about defective goods in the first half of this year, with second-hand cars and household goods the biggest problem areas.

Consumer Direct, the government advice service, says more than a quarter of calls in the first six months of the year have been regarding defective goods. The top five problem areas were second-hand cars, furniture, audio-visual equipment, large domestic appliances and computers.

Michele Shambrook, operations manager from Consumer Direct, says consumers should not be scared to complain if a purchase is faulty as they may be entitled to a refund.

“It's worth checking where you stand as you may have more protection than you think,” she adds.

The law states that goods bought from shops and online traders must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and match their description.

If they are not, then shoppers may be able to claim a repair, replacement, or a partial or full refund.

Top tips:

Make sure you keep all receipts as proof of purchase in a safe place, as you may need them when making a claim.

If you notice a product is faulty then contact the shop where you bought it as soon as possible. You may be able to get a full refund at this stage, or a repair, like for like replacement or partial refund if the product has been used.

Remind the retailer that, legally, if a fault occurs within the first six months after purchase, it's up to the trader to prove that the fault was not present at the time of sale.

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