My embarrassing consumer rights confession – time to admit it

My embarrassing consumer rights confession – time to admit it

What a prat! Even though it’s a couple of years ago, my cheeks are reddening as I type this introduction. Time to divulge though, as I thought a few would enjoy the schadenfreude of the Money Saving Expert cock-up …

After I’d proposed to Mrs MSE  (the MSF as was) she bought me a gorgeous and expensive watch as an engagement gift – the type I’d never buy myself. After just over a year the small pieces in the casing, used to indicate five-minutes, came off, and then would roll around the inside.

She said she’d take it to get it fixed, then later told me it’d gone to the manufacturer, soon after we heard:

They say it has been dropped and therefore it isn’t covered by the warranty. If you want it repaired you’ll need to pay”

Well I hadn’t dropped it and the cost was extortionate for such a small thing. I was fuming so I asked for the number so I could call them.

How to genuinely be a sad fart

Of course, no need for me to gen up on my rights – they were all to hand – all goods must obey what I call the SAD FART rules (be Satisfactory Quality, As Described, Fit for purpose, And last a Reasonable length of Time (see consumer rights guide).

I got on the phone and spoke to the member of shop staff, who gave me the same line as she’d given Mrs MSE, so soon we were in discussion about it and my argument was something akin to:

Actually it’s irrelevant what the manufacturer says, my contractual relationship is with you. I believe the watch is faulty according to the Sale of Goods Act 1979, as it’s not satisfactory quality nor has it lasted a reasonable length of time. And as I bought it from you – it is up to you to fix it"

She repeated what the manufacturer said, but of course that wasn’t good enough for me. I continued, never being rude, always being polite, but very firm – to push hard. Soon, as I wasn’t getting anywhere, I asked to speak to the manager, and spent five minutes repeating their consumer rights obligations to him as well.

Eventually he agreed to: "Do all I can to sort it for you."

I told Mrs MSE all this when I got home, proudly boasting that I’d fired off all the tools in my MoneySaving arsenal only for her to say,

But do you really have rights with them? That wasn’t the shop I bought it from, I just found the nearest authorised repair centre!”

Please do make me feel better by sharing any of your embarrassing rights stories below

PS. Thankfully they only had Mrs MSE’s name, not mine, and sheepishly I asked her to call and ask them to send the watch back. In the end the real retailer agreed repair it free.

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