FULL DISCLAIMER: Let me first begin this post by saying that I do not claim to be an expert, or even remotely qualified in this field in order to give you “professional advice”. I can only, and will only ever share my personal experiences with you; What I did/discovered and how I dealt with it in the hopes that it can help bring some clarity to someone who may find themselves in a tricky, or similar situation.
Side note: This post will also be tailored to the UK, as that’s where I am from.
“In this day and age, it’s imperative as a consumer to know where you stand when it comes to purchasing your devices and knowing your rights surrounding owning these items.”
About a couple of months back, I purchased an “all-singing, all-dancing” LG washing machine in the Black Friday sale – which in retrospect was an absolute steal for the price they usually retail for! However, it wasn’t until recently that I was actually able to install the item (due to covid restrictions etc). Which unfortunately meant that the washing machine was now past the period given by the original company to either exchange or refund an item. Unless faulty..
When it came to the installation of the LG product, like all laundry appliances, I was prompted to perform a rinsing process (which most will know is a standard procedure according to manufacturing instructions) performed in order to remove all remaining debris and anything that might have been left in the machine’s drum during the manufacturing process.
It wasn’t until halfway through the process that I was alerted by an ‘LE’ error, so I decided to do some ‘digging’ into what this actually meant.
The motor in the washing machine had locked. How bizarre??
However, further research into this informed me that this can be due to either;
The wash load being too great – Which there were no items in the drum.
The washing machine has overheated and therefore the motor had blown
It soon became very apparent that the latter was the case when my ears were alerted by an awful, ‘creaking/knocking’ sound which occured just as the rinsing program came to the end of its cycle.
So, as anyone would, I got in touch with the company that I originally placed the order with. They then went on to inform me that with it being out of the 30-day warranty (that I was already aware of) I would have to get in touch with the original manufacturer, LG. Later after speaking with LG, I was finally awarded a repair service, which was to take place in the next couple of days.
Due to Covid restrictions, and most of the LG staff being furloughed, LG managed to send someone who wasn’t actually affiliated with the company, but was instead a generic repair company sent to assess the unit on their behalf. The gentleman arrived and scoffed at the unit before he actually took a look at what was wrong with the product. After demonstrating a general rinsing cycle in order to fully assess the problem, he began to ask me just how long I had owned the machine as the motor in the washing machine had blown, and that this is, unfortunately, a common fault among the majority of LG Washing machines.
He booked another ‘repair visit’ into his diary in order to fit a new motor, but also told me in no uncertain terms that I should do whatever I could in order to get my money back, as a repair will only ever prolong the inevitable. So, taking his advice I contacted LG and told them exactly what I was told by the repairman, and that I had now lost faith in the product and would like to request my money back.
Having brought this machine from a different company LG informed me that I needed to go back to them in order to request a refund, also mentioning an “uplift code” in the process. And so a week went by where I was constantly back-and-forth(ing) between both companies over and over again, only to end up with the same reply, with one in particular very rude “customer service” member putting the phone down on me when I was trying to gain an actual answer.
Disgruntled with the way I was treated, I began to explore my options.
This was a faulty washing machine due to no fault of my own, I had gone through the appropriate protocols, and someone of authority who had been sent by the company had told me to get my money back which I was fully entitled to. However, I was instead being denied of this and “fobbed off” with a repair (which I no longer needed or wanted, due to losing faith in the item) and also this “uplift code” which was being brought up in every conversation – which now looking back I’m certain both companies were only using as a ‘code word’ to palm me off until the next time I was to speak to them!
I had to use the “Consumer Rights Act 2015” as a powerful impression when it came to getting what I was rightfully entitled to – A return and a refund. However, this can be a very boring and lengthy read. So in order to help simplify this act, here are the important bits and generally what you need to know;
The act mentions;
Fit for purpose
And last a
Reasonable length of
Which basically means that if your product doesn’t fall under any of the above categories, that you as a consumer are entitled to the protection of either claiming your money back or an exchange. This also includes vouchers and/or sale items.
This saved me! It got me the result that I originally was entitled to and fought for.
In addition to the above, here are a few of my favourite sites which I enjoy using to keep that much-necessary step ahead of companies. MUST!
Money Saving Expert – A definite go-to! This is the website that I found the most helpful as it not only contains a friendly-looking interface to browse upon, but also a public-friendly wealth of knowledge when it concerns your rights, bills, protection, money and general queries and deals associated with your favourite shops and grocery stores. Basically, it has everything you need all under one site, and Martin is constantly fighting our (consumer) corner!
Which? – Popularly known by the public for all its successful cases in claiming money back to their rightful owners, as well as providing the latest, tested reviews on what you should buy as a consumer. Here you can use their ‘Complaints & Compensation’ letter template, in which you can input all your order details, and then with ease send this to the culpable company hopefully ‘lighting a fire’ beneath them (14 days notice) in order to achieve a substantial and tangible response.
Resolver – Involved with Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert). This is a customer-friendly site designed for when you haven’t managed to get past the simple “I would like..” when it comes to obtaining a refund, or exchange and therefore the need to escalate the issue further.
Ombudsmen – A website dedicated to solving unresolved complaints with companies or providers. Your last and reliable resort, exploiting companies for when they rightfully deserve it.
TIP: Sometimes, the mere mentioning from any of these terms can send a service member into sudden “helpful mode”..
In addition to the above, there are also processes in order to help claim your money back by reversing the payment(chargeback). This can be accessed through the likes of Paypal, and is also there for when you come to pay using a debit or credit card.
All of these companies are in place to assist you, and massively helped escalate my issue to a position where it could eventually be heard.
I do hope any of the above has helped you on your quest to getting the necessary help and result that you require.
HOWEVER: Please, please, please do your research when it comes to purchasing your items. Money (especially these days) is very hard to come by. It’s so easy to spend, but as you can see from the above difficulty and (unnecessary) stresses incredibly laborious in order to claim it back when things go wrong.
Know your rights, and persevere. You’ve got this!
I’d love to know if you have a story that is similar to mine, or currently facing and perhaps could use a little direction. Lets chat!