Top 5 service fob offs and how to avoid them

Are you fed up being fobbed off by companies as to why they can’t deal with your issue? Here are 5 of the most common customer service fob offs and how to avoid them.

We also recommend that you report your complaint (free of charge) via our platform. This increases the chance that your complaint will finally be taken seriously.

customer service fob offs

Are you fed up being fobbed off by companies as to why they can’t deal with your issue? Here are 5 of the most common customer service fob offs and how to avoid them.

We also recommend that you report your complaint (free of charge) via our platform. This increases the chance that your complaint will finally be taken seriously.

Table of contents

We do not give refunds

Contrary to popular belief, there is no automatic entitlement to a refund, exchange or credit unless there is a fault with the item purchased. Any refund, exchange or credit is at the discretion of the retailer.

Retailers should have clear and visible Refund & Returns policies. These can be displayed in store, included in online Terms and Conditions of sale or otherwise communicated to the customer for reference should they be dissatisfied with their purchase.

A good Return & Refund policy should state when a cash refund, store credit or exchange is applicable, the respective time periods, good covered by the policy and any specific conditions for the refund, credit or exchange. For example, proof of purchase and original packaging.

Retailers also need to make clear any exceptions to their policy such as perishable items, goods marked “as is”, goods damaged after purchase, personalised goods, products without original packaging and any exchanges or returns that cannot be made for public health reasons.

You need to contact the courier

Your contract is with the retailer and not the courier firm so the retailer should be your primary port of call and should investigate and seek recompense on your behalf accordingly. A service by a courier should be carried out with reasonable care and skill and the courier should ensure the safe delivery of your goods to the best of their ability.

You need to contact the manufacturer

Your contract is with the retailer, not the manufacturer. It is therefore up to the retailer to resolve the issue in question and you can seek a repair, refund or a replacement accordingly. The retailer should be given the opportunity to rectify the faults but if it fails to do then you can the reject the goods and request a full refund.

If you are unable to resolve the problem directly with the retailer, look into how you paid for the product or service and take steps to recoup your losses via means of payment instead. You can also contact the manufacturer directly. Send all letters by certified mail, request proof of posting, and keep copies of any correspondence. 

Contact your local consumer protection office or Citizen’s Advice. They may be able to assist with a complaint if you can’t resolve the situation with the retailer or manufacturer. 

You should have taken out a warranty

Almost every purchase you make is covered by an ‘implied warranty’ such as a warranty of merchantability’ meaning that the retailer promises that the product will do what it is supposed to do. For example, a radio will play and a kettle will boil.

Similarly the “warranty of fitness for a particular purpose.” applies when you buy a product based upon the retailer’s assertion that it is suitable for a particular use. For example that it is waterproof or can be used in extreme weather conditions.

You should check the Terms and Conditions of any written warranty for coverage and protection details.

On a higher level we have The Consumer Rights Act (UK) and the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (USA). Under the rules for this act, goods need to be fit for purpose, as described of satisfactory quality and last a reasonable length of time. You are entitled to a refund, replacement or repair if this is not the case regardless of any warranty.
 

If a fault with a purchase is discovered within 6 months of ownership, the presumption is that the fault was there from the outset unless the retailer can prove otherwise and the reverse burden of proof can be applied accordingly. The onus is then on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time of purchase. If 6 months has elapsed, purchasers will need to prove that the fault was there when it was purchased.

You need a receipt for a refund

You do not necessarily need a receipt for a refund, as proof of purchase such as a bank or credit card statement should suffice. A statement will match up with the price at the time on the retailers’ systems and correspond with the item purchased. You can also ask the retailer to check their systems to establish when you made the purchase and when what and how the payment was made.

Lady Janey

Lady Janey

Queen of Customer Service, Travel Expert, Presenter Travel Radio & Author showcasing the best companies and challenging the worst!

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