Second Hand and Repaired Goods: Your Consumer Rights
As more and more people decide to buy second hand goods, or pay for items to be repaired rather than buy new, it’s good to know that you still have consumer rights. We’ve taken a look at what guarantees you are entitled to and what to do when things go wrong.
Buying Second Hand Goods
Consumer rights vary when you buy second hand goods direct from a company compared with when you buy from an individual. Buy from a company and you’ll get a one-year guarantee (compared with two years for brand new goods), but if you buy from an individual this period is reduced to 6 months.
If goods are nearly new, you may find that they are still covered by the original 2-year guarantee. When there’s more than a year’s guarantee still in force, in order to take advantage of this you’ll need to request the sales document (invoice, till receipt or stamped guarantee) that shows the date of the original purchase – if this isn’t available then you’ll have to accept the reduced 1-year / 6-month guarantee.
There’s no denying that in most cases it will be more difficult to try and get an individual to honour the 6-month guarantee period. If you have problems then get in touch with your local municipal consumer office (check with your Town Hall) who will be able to advise as to what to do. Depending on the money you’ve already spent and the time you’ll spend chasing it up, you’ll have to decide whether or not it’s worthwhile.
If you have issues with a store that will not honour the guarantee, then go back and request the official complaints form or see if you can fill it in online.
With the high call-out fee coupled with the cost of repairs, it can sometimes work out nearly as expensive as buying a new home appliance when your washing machine or fridge stops working. However for high-value items such as cars, a repair is normally the only option.
First of all check your home insurance as you may find that for certain home appliances you are already paying for a repair service, or in some cases this is included in your electricity contract. These services may cover call-out costs and repair costs, but check before in case you’re liable for partial payment. If you decide to pay for a repair make sure you avoid, if possible, evenings and weekend call-outs as these are the most expensive.
All repairs are guaranteed for a full 3 months from the date of repair, but this guarantee only covers those items actually changed or repaired. Make sure that you keep the invoice and that this details exactly the work that was carried out. In the case of car repairs the guarantee is either 3 months or 2000 km.
Once again, if you have any problems then your best option is to submit an official claims form and wait for the answer.
If you have a problem with second hand goods you can’t request that they be substituted – you’ll either have to opt for requesting a repair or your money back.
When buying second hand goods online, keep a screenshot or printout of the original goods description in order to avoid claims from the seller that certain defects had already been indicated.