When you purchase an item or product you expect it to work, be functional, or be as advertised, somewhat regardless of the price. However, when purchasing something more valuable, the importance of it functioning as advertised feels even greater. We don’t want to be spending our hard-earned cash on faulty or defective products, it is extremely frustrating and upsetting when we somehow do.
There are, of course, many parts of consumer law that help protect us in these situations. Consumers have rights, purchases are often protected, and often you can get your money back. Whatever the faulty item may be, there is likely a solution for you.
In this article, we will briefly cover defective products and the ways you can sort out what to do after spending a lot of money on a defective product yourself.
What Is A Defective Product
In the most simple of terms, a defective product is something that does not function as advertised. There are three main types of product defects. Defects in design mean something that breaks or doesn’t work properly, despite being advertised as so. This is the most common issue consumers come across. Other cases could be defects in manufacture (mistakes made at production level) or defects in warnings (warnings not adequately displayed on a product)
Defective products can lead to all sorts of problems. The professionals behind www.edwardspattersonlaw.com/tulsa-oklahoma/ explain that the issue is not always with the defectiveness of a product, but what that defect may cause. Many defective products are not only a waste of money but also dangerous to the consumer, which is where we come in. So, a defect can be an annoyance like a busted battery on a laptop, but it can also be a danger. Damaged, cracked, or split edges on a product could injure consumers or their families, while faulty electrics can cause all kinds of damage.
Consumer Protection Overview
In the United States, there are laws protecting consumers at both state and federal levels. Most of these are looked after by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Within the FTC, you will find the Bureau of Consumer Protection, whose job it is to protect customers against unfair or deceptive practices within the world of commerce. They write the laws which say you are protected against companies acting unfairly, including by selling you faulty goods, knowingly or otherwise. In the case of defective products, the consumer is almost always right, especially if they can prove a product was sold to them in both defective and dangerous conditions.
Returns, Refunds, and Warranties
The first port of call, especially in a case where a product is not dangerous, is to simply request a refund from the manufacturer or point of sale. Most stores and manufacturers have return and refund policies in place. If you have purchased online, these documents should be easy to find. If you have purchased in-store, you may need to do a little research or check your receipt. There are no federal laws that state that a store must give refunds, though, which can make things tricky. 14 states have passed varying degrees of refund policy laws, but not all enforce a refund period. Instead, many just state that the store must display their policy properly, even if that policy is 100% “No Refunds!”
When purchasing top-level goods, you will often be sold or given a warranty. In this case, the manufacturer is guaranteeing nothing will go wrong with the product within a certain timeframe. If it does, they should take the product back and replace or repair it for you.
So, what to do if your store or manufacturer won’t take a product back, even if it cost thousands and is faulty? Ideally, lawyer up! An experienced commercial lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed with the situation. For example, if you have been hurt – or could have been – by a defective item, you may be able to sue for negligence on the manufacturer’s part. Another possibility is to enforce the manufacturer’s “strict” liability. This is if you can prove that their product was defective during the manufacturing process, causing you either harm or financial implications.
Simply put, if your product, no matter how expensive, is faulty then the manufacturer should be repairing or replacing it for you. If they won’t, or you feel the product may cause harm, it’s time to reach out to a specialist lawyer. Your consumer rights are there for a reason and it is likely that you will be able to get a settlement from a company that has been negligent.