Complaints on services – What are your rights

Getting a haircut, your TV or car repaired, or your suit dry-cleaned — these are services you pay for, like paying for goods. And in each instance you enter into a contract with the provider of the service. If it is a simple job, the contract is oral. In some cases though you might have to sign a form. There must have been occasions when you were dissatisfied or cheated by the person or company providing the service. When you pay for a service, here are some of your basic rights you might expect.

Complaints on manufacturer’s guarantees

A manufacturer’s guarantee is a promise in writing by the manufacturer that if certain parts are defective or malfunction,within a particular period of time, the manufacturer will either remedy the defect or replace the product. However, there is no legal obligation on the part of the manufacturer to provide its own guarantee for under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, consumers already enjoy the protection of implied guarantees.

Overcoming overcharges in utility bills

Even if you have not committed yourself beforehand to a price for a service, the amount charged must be reasonable. You can find out what is a reasonable rate by getting estimates from other firms for the same service provided. If you have been charged an unreasonably high figure, write to the firm that provided the service, stating that you are only willing to pay a reasonable sum, as charged by other firms. However, be prepared to have the firm retain your goods (if you have given them goods for repair) until you pay up in full, or you could face legal action brought by the firm in a small claims court (see Chapter 29 of the CAP guide, How to Complain and Get Results).