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Know your consumer rights when buying domestic electrical goods

Know your consumer rights when buying domestic electrical goods

Buying an electrical item? Make sure you know your legal rights.

For further information about your consumer rights and advice on how to complain to a trader visit Citizens Advice

Visit our YouTube channel to access all videos. There is also a free campaign leaflet (pdf 1.03Mb) you can order by calling 0800 389 3158 and quoting 1383.

Know your consumer rights when buying electrical goods

Video transcript

MVO: Buying electrical goods can throw up all kinds of problems. It's hard enough trying to work out your RAM from your ROM without knowing what to do when things go wrong.

It's supposed to be an HD ready TV, but the only thing it's ready for is the bin. The ad said your computer plays DVDs but it only takes CDs. And you weren't expecting your brand new washing machine to let more water out than in…

Well, here's some good news.

You may have parted with your hard earned cash, but as soon as you've entered into a contract with the seller you have rights. The Sale of Goods Act states that any item you buy from a trader - someone selling goods as a business, such as a shop or online shop - must be:

  • of satisfactory quality
  • fit for purpose
  • and as described.

If it isn't, the item is faulty and you should contact the trader as soon as possible, because you can usually get a repair, replacement or refund. Next time you buy any type of electrical goods, check it over properly as soon as you get home.

Make sure you've followed any installation or operating rules correctly. Don't try and repair it yourself.

And check the manufacturer's warranty or your home insurance to see if you're covered. They may provide additional legal rights on top of the ones you already have under the contract with the seller. If you decide to buy an extended warranty, always shop around for the best price and remember you already have statutory rights if things go wrong.

Either way, make sure you know your legal rights.

So you can have confidence when you buy. You have even more rights if you buy online, by phone or by mail order.

Find out more at

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