Whether you are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund will depend on a few things:

  • the types of product or service you are buying
  • what you are using the product for
  • what you were told about the product or service
  • how you paid
  • whether you bought them from a business or a private seller.

What happens if I buy something and it turns out faulty?

The Consumer Guarantees Act says that products should:

  • be of acceptable quality
  • be fit for a particular purpose
  • arrive on time and in good condition
  • match the description, sample or demonstration.

If there is a fault with the product, there are options available to you.

Minor fault

If it is a minor fault, the retailer can choose to replace or repair the item, or give you a refund, and they must do so in a reasonable time.

Substantial fault

If it is a substantial fault and can't be fixed in a reasonable time, for example, a phone that won't call or a laptop that keeps crashing, you can ask for a cash refund.

Faulty services

If the services have a minor issue, the business must fix the problem within a reasonable time at no cost to you.

If it is a more serious issue, for example it can't be fixed easily or is unsafe, you can cancel the contract of service and refuse to pay for the work done. If you have already paid you may be able to get some or all of your money back.

Read more about faulty services on the Consumer Protection website.

What if I change my mind?

The retailer is not required to give you a cash refund if you have changed your mind about a purchase, but they might swap the item or give you a store credit. Check the store's return policy before you buy.

If you are buying something as a gift, it may be a good idea to ask for an exchange card.

Read more about returns, refunds and repairs on the Consumer Protection website.

Read more about enforcing your rights.

Businesses cannot mislead you about your CGA rights

If a business misleads you about your rights under the CGA, for example telling you that you only have 5 days to return a faulty item, you can make a complaint to us.

Make a complaint using our online form, or call 0800 943 600.