Martin Lewis slams Very for giving WRONG return rights info and forces the firm to replace customer's Apple Watch
MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has stepped into a customer's Twitter spat with online retailer Very after it gave out what he slammed as WRONG information. Very wrongly pushed the customer to a manufacturer when the firm itself is legally responsible for faults. The firm has now apologised and offered the customer a 'gesture of goodwill'.
Martin stepped in on Tuesday after the Very customer reported on Twitter that she'd been told to go to the manufacturer when her Apple Watch broke - even though under consumer law, if you buy something that turns out to be faulty it's the responsibility of the retailer that sold it to you, NOT the manufacturer. For full help on your return rights, see our Consumer Rights guide.
Martin vs Very - how the Twitter spat started
MoneySaver Gemma first alerted Martin to the problem after she complained to Very on Twitter:
Martin then intervened:
Over 5,000 people liked Martin's tweet, with many posting memes of sitting down with popcorn to watch the outcome, and others saying Martin needed a cape.
The Very team then contacted Gemma after she pushed what Martin said, with the customer service advisor noting they hadn't heard of Martin and stating that its advice was correct and that it was an issue for Apple under its warranty.
It then added: "If you believe this is a manufacturing fault you can return this to us, however you would first require an independent report from a reputable source to establish the issue is a manufacturing fault."
Martin, unsurprisingly, was unimpressed, and promised to take the matter up with Very - copying in the Very brand's main Twitter account, and not just that of its customer service account. Martin also copied in the MSE team's Twitter account and his team put in calls to the press office.
Very then said 'sorry'
The next morning Martin received the following e-mail from the Very press office.
"We saw that you responded to Gemma Duggan’s tweets and wanted to let you know the steps we’re taking to resolve the issue for her.
"We’ve contacted Gemma to say sorry for the service she received and, to help make up for her experience, we will send her a new Apple Watch and a gesture of goodwill.
"If an item we sell develops a fault and we don’t have the expertise to establish a manufacturing defect, we put the customer in touch with the manufacturer to establish the cause as quickly as possible. If the item is found to be faulty, in line with the Consumer Rights Act, we arrange for it to be repaired or replaced.
"In this case, our advisor should have supported the customer in doing this or asked the customer to share an existing Apple report confirming a fault. We’ve spoken to the advisor to remind them of our process and to help ensure this doesn’t happen again."
It's time for retail staff to get better training
Martin has also called for retail staff to get better training in consumer rights. He added:
What are my rights if I buy a faulty item?
Under consumer law you have what we call SAD FART rights - you can expect goods you buy to be of Satisfactory quality, As Described, Fit for purpose And last for a Reasonable length of Time.
And if the goods are faulty, you have specific rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you reject the faulty item within 30 days you're due a full refund in most cases - after that, you lose the short-term right to reject the goods and have fewer rights, but can still demand a repair or replacement, or full or partial refund if this doesn't work.
And as the example above highlights, you need to watch out for shops saying they're not responsible for faulty goods and telling you to contact the manufacturer instead. That's wrong - it's the retailer's job to sort it out. See more in our Consumer Rights guide.