Auckland Lawyer Consumer Guarantees – Enforce Your Rights If You Have Issues With a Product
If you encounter issues with a product, it is important that you enforce your rights as a consumer. There are consumer guarantees that exist to protect your rights, and to ensure that you get what you need, and what you expect from a product.
If you buy something and it is not fit for purpose, then you are entitled to a refund or to get the product exchanged for a working one. You do not need to accept that a product that costs a lot of money breaks after a few months of normal use. If you ordered a blue item and got a red one then you can reasonably expect an exchange. If you buy something online and the description was unclear, then it turns out to be the wrong size, you should be able to send it back.
Usually, there is a guarantee with the retailer, and then another guarantee with the manufacturer. Your first port of call should be the retailer – if you have had the product for more than a few months and it breaks, then you can and should contact the manufacturer. If you buy something and it is broken right away, then take it back to the shop.
Many stores will try to fob people off with half-hearted offers of vouchers, or a “there’s nothing we can do” or “no refunds” statement. Do not accept this. You have rights as a consumer, and it is up to you to enforce them in the face of poorly trained staff, or companies that are trying to get out of accepting the rules.
If you don’t stand up for your consumer rights, then companies will continue to trample on them. You need to complain when products aren’t OK, because otherwise brand owners won’t know that there is an issue that needs to be fixed. Bigger brands, in particular, use refund statistics to see what is going wrong with their products. If people keep accepting something that breaks or that isn’t quite as good as they expect, then the company will keep making things of that quality. So, make sure that you tell people when you aren’t happy – and even, if you have the time, provide feedback when you are happy.
If you are polite but firm with your complaints and refund requests, then you will find that you get a much better response from people. You need to make it clear that you expect that your rights will be respected, and you need to explain what you bought, what you expected, and what was delivered. With a polite approach, many brand owners will respond well to complaints. They aren’t out there to con people, they need the feedback that consumers provide – they spend a lot of money on focus groups, after all. Free feedback from engaged consumers who like their products enough to give them a second chance after they go wrong is worth a lot.