Who Is Liable For Damaged Products? – Know More Here! >> The guide shares exclusive details about consumer rights and methods to deal with products that arrived damaged.
Online shopping not only adds convenience but also brings in lots of disadvantages. Whenever a consumer receives a damaged product, they get confused. During the global pandemic, worldwide consumers opted for online shopping, and the number of online order delivery increased, resulting in damaged goods during transit.
Many consumers are uncertain about whose fault it is and whom to report. Is it the seller, manufacturer, Delivery Company or online aggregator? Here is the helpful guide on Who is Liable for Damaged Products, and it will simplify things for consumers.
Table of Contents
Damaged Products Delivery – Who Is Liable for It?
As per the Consumer Rights Act, the retailer is held responsible if any damaged products are delivered, and they are urged to remedy the situation at the earliest. It signifies that consumers with damaged products must report the same to the retailer immediately.
The retailers are responsible for addressing the situation and replace the damaged product with the new one, no matter whether the delivery boy or courier company caused the damage during transit.
Under Consumer Act 2015, retailers will be held liable for damaged products, and consumers have to report it directly to the retailer for exchange or replacement.
In many cases, the contract with the supplier will decide the obligations and liabilities for damaged goods in transit for the delivery boy, Courier Company or Haulage Company.
What Must Consumers Do When Received Damaged Product?
It is extremely important to read the return and refund policy of the retailer before ordering any product, especially any delicate or large items like furniture, which is prone to incur damages during transit because of logistic negligence. So, it is necessary to read the fine prints to understand the consumer rights on defective products.
Consumers must approach the retailer and follow the formal complaint procedure to report about the defective or damaged product. You must report it immediately after delivery of the product.
Here is the list of things you have to do when you receive any damaged product.
- Accepting the Product – Accepting the order at first instance is the smart way. If you are the recipient of the order and it is presented to you, and you see damages incurred in the packages, don’t refuse to accept it. Refusing to accept the order will delay the process and cost you more as you have to bear the returning charges and storage fees until the product refund is processed. Besides, you will not be able to document the damaged product if you refuse to accept it.
- Snapping Photos of Damaged Products – Immediately after the delivery, you must take some clear images of the product and the compromised packaging. It will help you document the damaged item and let the retailer know whether it was inappropriately packaged or reprehensively handled, which caused the damages during transit. It will also act as proof of your damaged product when reporting to the retailer.
- Approaching the Seller First – Ecommerce websites have their return and refund policies in place, covering a small part of defective and damaged products. As mentioned, you must always read the fine prints before buying any product from the retailer. You have to check a few vital things, including how soon you must approach the seller after the damaged product is delivered, is there any provision to return the damaged product via mail, who will cover the shipping charges for returning the goods. You must report it to the seller immediately after the damaged good is delivered as it is the seller Who is Liable for Damaged Products.
- Immediately Claim a Return – If you are the recipient of the product and the first person to discover that a damaged product is delivered, promptly file a return with the seller or retailer. Check the product as soon as it is delivered and if you find any defect or damages, raise a complaint and request a return or refund. You must take snaps of the damages, document your damaged product, and use them as proof while filing complaints. You must not make any delay to raise a request for return of the damaged products.
- Confirming for Refunds – As you file a complaint and request for a return, you will get an estimated time for pick-up of the damaged product by the courier company. However, a refund is initiated as soon as the pick-up is complete. You may ask the retailer for the refund and how much time it takes to complete the refund process. If you are sending the damaged product via mail, the retailer will be held liable for the shipping fees of the damaged or faulty products.
Step by Step Guide to File Complaint Against the Damaged Products
In order to be on the safer side, consumers are requested to take pictures and record a video while unboxing the damaged product. Images and video recordings of the damaged products will act as proof when filing a complaint.
It will also create a liability of the seller and manufacturer as it is already confirmed that it is the retailer and manufacturer Who is Liable for Damaged Products.
- Promptly call the seller or retailer and intimate about the damages incurred during transit. They are the first person to contact and report about the damaged product delivery.
- Attach the video recording and images of the damaged packaging and products as it acts as evidence and supports your online complaint.
- After receiving the complaint, retailers take necessary actions to deal with your situation and remedy it promptly, either providing a replacement or a refund.
- Under the Consumer Right Acts, the seller and retailers are held liable for the damaged products or any manufacturing defects. So, they can avoid the responsibilities even if there is any manufacturing fault.
- If the retailer doesn’t reply promptly or take necessary actions, you may contact the respective authorities in your country to escalate the complaint and get a resolution.
Consumers also have the right to file a consumer case against the retailer for defective or damaged products. Apart from the eligible refund, consumers may also receive good compensation for faulty or damaged products.
What Is The Right Time for Filing Lawsuit Against Damaged Products?
The right time to file a consumer case or lawsuit against the seller for damaged products is when you don’t get any responses, and the seller refuses to remedy your situation. However, consumers have to provide evidence and prove themselves true to file a lawsuit and claim compensation for the damaged products, as per law. Consumers have to prove that:
- The product arrived damaged with manufacturing defect
- The design is defective or not as described
- Product has divergence from original specifications on seller’s site
- Retailer refusing to share the product’s warranty
- Product is a defect or damaged when arrived and fails to function as described
- The services offered are deficient, imperfect and faulty
Filing Consumer Case
Consumer cases can be filed at your respective consumer courts, and there are forums created at three levels, National, State and District. The duration or final judgment varies depending upon the seller and the nation you reside. Here is the helpful guide nation-wise.
Consumers in the United States can file a complaint against the seller via https://www.usa.gov/consumer-complaints
- Go to the website with all paperwork related to the purchase
- Contact the seller/consumer affair department and consumer protection offices via email, call or letter
- Take legal action by hiring an attorney
The laws in the UK protect consumer rights when buying products and services online. So, for goods damaged in transit who is liable UK. You may check the consumer rights and get the number of the person to contact for filing a consumer case at https://www.gov.uk/consumer-protection-rights.
Call the helpline number and get assistance from consumer helpline experts. Your complaint will be escalated to Trading Standards Officers, who will investigate your case.
If you are from Australia and not getting a satisfying response for damaged products, contact the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission https://www.accc.gov.au/consumers/complaints-problems/make-a-consumer-complaint.
Provide them some evidence and write a complaint letter. The authorities will investigate the case and escalate it to an attorney for further legal action against the seller or retailer.
Visit the website https://www.ontario.ca/page/filing-consumer-complaint to file a consumer case
- Inform the seller and retailer about the damaged product before filing a consumer case
- Submit a complaint at the website with evidence and proofs
- The complaint are filed online, by email and on paper
- The authorities will contact you in 15 days after investigating the case for you
Suppose your seller refuses to exchange or refund the amount you paid for the damaged product. You may file a complaint at https://gama.gov.in/ConsumerGrivences.aspx.
- Go to the website and check the payable fee for filing a consumer case against the seller
- You have to share your grievances and report the dispute on the website to get resolutions from the consumer court
Additional Tips to Deal with Damaged Products
Here are some of the tips to deal with the damaged products and get prompt responses.
- Keep everything, including invoice, packaging slip, e-mail of the sellers, freight bills and images of the damaged packaging and goods, secure with you.
- If your seller is not responding to your query and complaint, you must know your rights and the methods to file a consumer case to take legal action. You must complain to the seller and see what action they take to remedy the situation. If you don’t receive any response, file a consumer case as the final solution.
Hopefully, it is clear now Who is Liable for Damaged Products and what steps you must take as a consumer when you receive damaged or faulty products.
There are many instances when a consumer receives a damaged product and settles without knowing their rights. It is important to read the fine prints before ordering and know the right to file a consumer case if sellers refuse to respond to your complaint.
Have you ever filed a Consumer Complaint about the damaged product? Please comment here the process for other consumers and also share with us, if you have not got the solution, we would assist you. Moreover, read here for the Things You Should Consider While Online Shopping, for safe and happy shopping.