It is better to complain in vain, than not to complain at all. Too many people worry about the extent of their legal rights before complaining and in truth this is completely unnecessary.
- I think that our mindset has very much been shaped by programmes such as Watchdog and Moneybox that impress upon us all the vast array of laws that supposedly serve us all. It’s true that a wealth of consumer protection legislation exists in this country for the benefit of all but this in itself is not necessarily very helpful.
- The law is all very well and big companies are only too aware of these laws but the detail at least remains a mystery to most consumers and many are scared to assert their legal rights. Worse than that, many people feel incapacitated without a command of consumer law.
- In reality there is no reason to get hung up about the law at all. If something is wrong, common sense will tell you that it is wrong. There’s no reason to not complain just because you are unsure about your legal rights. On the contrary, you will often find that reputable companies will compensate you to an extent which far outstrips their legal obligation. Why? Because they value loyal customers and are constantly striving to improve quality.
- You don’t need Esther Rantzen or Anne Robinson to help you, you can help yourself. If you have a good complaint, complain!
Just in case you feel the urge to lob in some law feel free to quote the following:
- goods and services must be of “satisfactory quality” and “fit for purpose” under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended)
- goods must be safe under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and
- a clause in a standard contract must be “fair” under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Regulations 1999.