Losing Money making a complaint



Do you know if you are being fobbed off and losing money?  Do you understand what your consumer rights are?  Most people would probably answer “no” to these questions, me included!

I asked Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow  blogger, consumer champion and author of How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results! to look at how you might be losing money just because you don’t know or use your consumer rights.

Read on, you might be surprised at how you can save yourself some money!

Over to Helen….

How good are you at complaining? I don’t mean having a moan about the weather or does your bum look big in that, I mean how easily do you get fobbed off when you complain to a retailer or service provider? And do you even get as far as complaining?

If you just accept that poor service in the restaurant, or end up paying to send something to the manufacturer, or pay for the phone call to a courier, you might be being fobbed off and losing money! So what do you need to do to make sure that you don’t lose out financially?

1.You have a product that is faulty and the retailer tells you that you need to send it back to the manufacturer

Nope! Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 your contract is always with the company to whom you gave the money.

2.You stayed in for a delivery and lost a day’s pay

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. If a timed delivery or a date was agreed this must be kept. If broken you are entitled to any out of pocket expenses, but you will need to prove them.

3. You are phoning an after sales helpline and the number is a premium call

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 were introduced which prohibits retailers, traders and passenger transport companies who offer telephone helplines for consumers to contact them about something they have bought from using a phone number costed at more than “basic rate”.

Companies must now advertise an “inclusive” 01, 02 or 03 number or a “free-to-caller” 080 number for any phone line used for post sales activities. This covers almost all post sales activities, not just complaints.

4. That useless courier company has lost your item and the retailer say contact the courier

Nope! Your contract is with the retailer to whom you paid the money. Let them spend their time dealing with the courier and sorting the problem.

5. The retailer tells you that it won’t provide a refund, only a repair or replacement for faulty items.

Nope! Not legal. Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you have up to 30 days for a full refund, after this time the retailer can provide an exchange or repair.

What should you do if you are fobbed off?

  1. Always write where possible, so you have a track record. Why you should write not phone to complain
  2. Be objective, provide the evidence and name the relevant laws
  3. Provide a deadline for when you expect to receive a response and what you will do if you aren’t satisfied with it. (e.g. relevant ombudsman, review sites, Small Claims Court etc.)
  4. Be clear about what you want, is it redress, a refund and/or an apology?
  5. If you aren’t satisfied with the response you can take the matter to the CEO. Contact details for the CEO of companies can be found at ceoemail.com

More can be found on 20 Top Tips how to complain

Have you ever been fobbed off and lost money?


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