Durability is another recent addition to the definition of quality. How long should a dishwasher or a vacuum cleaner or a printer last? This is a very common source of complaint and one which manufacturers were always quick to turn back on the consumer, requiring them to provide proof that the item did not conform to contract specification from the start, or implying an element of misuse or neglect. Thanks to the new European Regulations, UK law now offers greater protection for consumers against products which develop faults within the first 6 months. The assumption is now that if it breaks down within this time period it cannot have conformed to the contract specification when purchased and you have the right to an automatic repair or replacement. Having said this, items which should last several years can still break down after this six month period. If the retailer or manufacturer’s warranty has run out, the shop is often quick to say there is nothing they can do before attempting to sell you an extended warranty. This is misleading. If you buy something which should last 7 years but breaks down after a year and a day, you can still claim it was of poor quality in reference to the durability aspect. In this respect it will help to know how long items such as washing machines or printers should last. You can get this information relevant trade association
I can’t get spares
It could be that due to the discontinuation of something you have recently bought, you can no longer get your hands on spare parts, rendering it un-fixable. Unfortunately there is no legal obligation for a manufacturer in this regard, although there are some trade associations who require their members to ensure products are not rendered useless due to the absence of spare parts.
- How do you measure quality?
- It’s not fit for purpose
- Is the guarantee worth the paper it’s written on?
- I bought it from a bloke down the pub
- Rights when knowingly buying damaged goods
- They say I’ve taken ownership so it’s my responsibility
- Do shops have to give me my money back?
- The shop doesn’t want to know, they say it is the manufacturer’s responsibility.
- It’s second hand – do I have any rights?