Don’t be shortchanged. Demand your rights, make a fuss.

I don’t know if it is the Ijebu woman in me, but I have learnt to always make a fuss, and raise complaints where customer service has failed.

This week alone: I demanded and got a refund of £1.49 from a major food outlet after an order arrived without the pot of coleslaw I included in my order.

I got from a company, a refund of £22.49 I paid for express delivery when the item arrived 1 day late

I got a (good will) charge cancellation from my gas supplier after they failed to process payment which I made at the point of booking a repair job. 1 month later they threatened me with debt collection. So I made a counter complaint and got the entire charge written off!

Many of us simply sit back and accept whatever these service providers throw at us without complaining.

The other day I was at an African restaurant with some friends who ordered suya. What they got was boiled pieces of meat with dry pepper sprinkled on it. At the same restaurant, a different occasion, my friend ordered Nkwobi which is meant to be a delicacy made out of chunks of succulent cow leg skin in the sauce but what we got was chunks of bone and very little skin.

The least we can expect for our hard earned cash is reliable service, items paid for and goods fitting the provided description.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 became law on 1 October 2015, replacing three major pieces of consumer legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, and the Supply of Goods and Services Act. It was introduced to simplify, strengthen and modernise the law, giving you clearer shopping rights.

Product quality – what should you expect?

As with the Sale of Goods Act, under the Consumer Rights Act all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

The rules also include digital content in this definition. So all products – whether physical or digital – must meet the following standards:

  • Satisfactory quality  Goods shouldn’t be faulty or damaged when you receive them. You should ask what a reasonable person would consider satisfactory for the goods in question. For example, bargain-bucket products won’t be held to as high standards as luxury goods.
  • Fit for purpose  The goods should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for, as well as any specific purpose you made known to the retailer before you agreed to buy the goods.
  • As described  The goods supplied must match any description given to you, or any models or samples shown to you at the time of purchase.

Click to read more about UK consumer rights