Minor or major problems with products

The type of remedy you can request can depend on whether it is a minor or major problem.

Minor problems

A minor problem can be fixed within a reasonable time.

You must give the store the chance to fix the problem. They choose whether to refund, repair or replace.

Major problems

If there is a major problem with a product, you are entitled to return it and seek a remedy.

There are examples of major problems below.

If there is a major problem with a product you have bought, you can:

  • reject it and choose a refund or replacement, or
  • keep it and the seller will compensate you for any drop in value.

If consumer had known about the problem, would not have bought

If a reasonable consumer had known about the problem, they never would have bought the product.

For example:

Ramona would not have bought her washing machine if she knew the motor was going to burn out after three months.

Product is significantly different

The product is significantly different from a sample, description or demonstration model.

For example:

James orders a red scarf online, but the scarf delivered was hot pink.

Product does not do what it is supposed to do

The product cannot do what the consumer told the salesperson they needed it to do, or what it is normally supposed to do, and this problem cannot be fixed quickly or easily.

For example:

A salesperson assures Oliver the watch he buys can be worn while deep-sea diving. When he goes diving, the watch fills up with water.

The product is unsafe

The product is unsafe.

For example:

Anna buys a car seat for her baby. After a couple of months, the belt buckle breaks.

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