National Consumer Week (NCW) is an annual consumer education campaign run by the Consumer Protection Partnership (CPP). This year’s campaign runs from 28 November to 2 December 2016 and is about being switched on to consumer rights relating to faulty or unsafe electrical goods. You can find out more about National Consumer Week on the Citizens Advice website.
Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says: “Thanks to the Consumer Rights Act people have the right to return most items, including digital purchases like music and e-books, up to 30 days after purchase as long as the item isn’t of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose or as described. If you are let down by a retailer, you have the right to complain. If you’ve spoken with the retailer and your complaint remains unresolved after a reasonable amount of time you can take your problem to the Consumer Ombudsman – a free and easy alternative to a small claims court. It takes just 10 minutes to complete an online form at www.consumer-ombudsman.org.”
Be more like ‘Switched On Sunita’
If you have a consumer complaint that isn’t resolved we may be able to help. Our Consumer Ombudsman video offers complaint advice to help ‘Doormat Daves’ and ‘Wishy Washy Walts’ be more like ‘Switched On Sunitas’ when they have a complaint. Click here to access our videos.
Know your rights
If you have a problem with a company:
- Make sure you complain – the company can’t fix the problem if it doesn’t know about it.
- Speak to the company about your issue – they may be able to fix the problem quickly and easily.
- It can be frustrating but keep your anger in check – being assertive rather than aggressive is more likely to get you the solution you want.
- Don’t worry about making a fuss and don’t be embarrassed – it’s your right to complain.
- Admit your part in the problem if you had any fault.
- If you’ve spoken to the company and the complaint remains unresolved after a reasonable time, you can approach Ombudsman Services who will look into your dispute. Visit www.consumer-ombudsman.org.
- If the company is at fault, Ombudsman Services will aim to return you to the position you would have been in had the issue not occurred.
Further information and advice is available in our ‘know your rights’ guides and on our sector web pages.
Published November 2016