Consumer rights exist to protect you, the consumer, from poor services or goods sold to you. When you have purchased a product or service, and you feel that service let you down in some way, your consumer rights may have been breached.
Claims for a breach of consumer rights are generally referred to as consumer disputes. We discuss a few common types of consumer dispute below.
Defective Products and Goods
If you buy goods or products that you thought were not of a reasonable standard, you have certain protective rights. Those rights, given by the Consumer Rights Act, entitle you to get a refund, repair, or receive a replacement.
To help determine if your rights have been breached, products sold by a business must be:
- Of satisfactory standard
- Fit for intended purpose
- Safe to use
- Free from minor defects
- Reasonably durable
It isn’t recommended to get a solicitor involved for a ‘low value’ dispute. You should consider whether the solicitor’s charges would outweigh the product’s value. It might be more appropriate to simply resolve the dispute with the company’s complaints or customer service department.
However, where there are thousands of pounds in dispute, we do recommend getting a solicitor involved. Cases where you should bring a claim for a defective product include:
- Defective doors and windows
- Dodgy new, or second-hand, cars
- Defective caravans or motorhomes
Professional Negligence & Breach of Contract
When we seek a professional or a tradesman to perform a service for us, we are outside our comfort zone. We have to put our trust in whoever we appoint. Unfortunately, this trust is not always rewarded – mistakes can be made, and bad advice given.
This is where the Consumer Rights Act steps in again as it requires that the service be provided with reasonable care and skill.
If you have been let down by a professional or a tradesman, that could be grounds for a professional negligence claim. And, you may be entitled to have things put right. For example, you could:
- Have the job redone to an acceptable standard
- Have repairs or improvements done to an acceptable standard
- Get a price rebate or reduction
- Receive compensation for financial loss caused by the dispute
- And, receive compensation for the stress and inconvenience of the dispute
Again, if the dispute is of relatively low value, it likely isn’t worthwhile pursuing with a claim. But, where the value could outweigh solicitor’s fees, we can certainly help.
Some examples of professional negligence cases where we can help are:
- Where a builder has done poor work or left work unfinished
- Failed loft conversions, poor landscaping, and cavity wall insulation failure
- An engineer or architect provides a flawed design
- A surveyor fails to see a defect in a pre-purchase survey
- Your solicitor missed a crucial deadline in your case
- A Will has not been drafted competently, so you have suffered a loss
- An expensive but sub-standard holiday
Financial Professional Negligence
These are, in effect, another type of professional negligence claim. Due to some poor practices in the financial industry, the number of these types of claim are increasing. So, it has become a specialised area and is worth discussing separately.
If you have ever received financial advice that cause you significant financial loss, you may be entitled to compensation. The most common types of claim for this are:
- You have been mis-sold a mortgage
- Your pension was mis-sold to you
- You were advised to make inappropriate investments that lost you money
- You have been charged unfair rates by a bank
- You were mis-sold timeshare
- You were mis-sold solar panels which were not suited to you
Additional Rights Under the Consumer Credit Act
Sometimes, the seller or provider of services is no longer in business, or not easy to get money off. But, the Consumer Credit Act says the finance company has the same liability as the seller, if:
- You paid by credit card or on finance, or
- The seller introduced you to the finance company
So, if you can’t easily claim against the seller, you may still be able to claim against the finance company.
How Chris Rudd Solicitors Can Help
We offer 15 minutes free initial advice, which helps us determine if we can help you. And, if you wish to take a claim forward, we can discuss what exactly we can do to help. Plus, we can offer several simple payment options such as:
- No win no fee or no win low fee (may depend on the nature of your case)
- Monthly payments terms
- We may be able to persuade your insurer to pay for our involvement
We are based in the North, but we often work remotely so it isn’t a problem if you’re farther afield. What that does mean is that our rates are lower than other solicitors farther south.
For more details on payment options and easy ways to pay, please see our pricing page.