Make sure you get what you pay for!

It’s all very well carefully planning all your purchases to spend your cash wisely and get the best deals, but what if the product turns out to be poor quality? When meat goes off before it’s use by date, or electrical items break after just a few months, how often do you bother to go back to the shop and complain?  Well you should!

I’m not talking about being a difficult customer who is always complaining and trying to get something for nothing.  But if you’ve paid good money for a product or service then you should expect to get what you pay for, and if you don’t then the retailer should put that right.  Here are some examples:

On several occasions I have ordered chicken in my weekly shopping, but when I’ve come to open the packet it has clearly gone off, despite being before the stated use by date.  Given that a large pack of chicken breasts can cost upwards of £5, that’s a lot of money to put in the bin, so you should always contact the shop and request a refund.  If you ordered online this is really easy as can be done via the shop’s website or via webchat (I love webchat for complaints as can multitask complaining with shouting at talking to the kids at the same time!) If you bought instore then its a bit more of a pain but you could throw away the gone off meat and just return the packaging next time you go to store.  I think Asda actually give you a refund as well as a replacement in this scenario, or at least they used to.

Just this week I ordered a pack of kiwi fruit in my online shop and helpfully they packed them in the same bag as the frozen chips, so unsurprisingly they arrived damaged.  A quick log in to the Ocado app and I was able to request a refund.

You can also benefit from being on the ball with other purchases.  I have had several experiences of purchasing household electrical items which have broken within less than a year.  In this case, it is worth being aware of the relevant bit of the Consumer Rights Act – if the item is less than 6 months old then the fault is assumed to have been there from manufacture and it is up to the retailer to prove otherwise. Most retailers therefore will replace or refund without question.  Even after the 6 month period the product should be expected to work for a “reasonable” period of time, and the retailer will therefore often replace or refund with less persuasion than you may expect.

I bought a kettle a couple of years ago which I used every day for around 8 months.  It then started being extremely noisy and was clearly not working as it should, so I returned it to the retailer who replaced it free of charge.  Then another 6 months or so later the replacement kettle had the same issue, so again I returned it, and again they replaced it, this time for a different model.  The kettle originally cost around £30, so I was very pleased I didn’t have to fork out £60 for two replacements within such a short period.  I also had a very similar experience with irons some years ago with a different retailer.  (Not sure what happens to appliances within our house!  The kettle admittedly gets quite a lot of use but I can’t say the same for the iron!)

I could think of lots of examples to share, but instead of dragging this out longer than is necessary I will share just one more.  We bought our daughter a maxi micro scooter for Christmas.  These retail at an eye watering £120, but thankfully using discounts and voucher codes I managed to get it for just £60!! 🙂  However just six and a half months after purchase, it broke, much to my daughter’s disappointment.  And it got worse when I read that the manufacturer’s warranty was only valid for six months from purchase. Agh!  I was all set to buy an expensive new handle when it occurred to me that the retailer might offer a replacement so I contacted them and unbelievably they replaced the scooter without question.

So keep doing the research and price comparisons to make sure you’re buying the right items at the best price, but also when you receive the products and start using them, ensure that you are getting what you paid for.  And if not then contact the retailer as soon as possible – you might be surprised by their response which could save you a lot of money.

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