UK Warranty experience

I’m currently in a bit of a wrestling match with one of the UK big hitters and wanting to know my rights.

I’m trying to get a refund on a shifter that broke after 3 months use. They are offering a replacement or a voucher as they claim they won’t refund after 1 month.

There is a backstory here:

I bought the bike in 2017. 18 months later the left shifter cable started to cut through the shifter body (RS505, quite a common problem it seems). I claimed as the bike was under 2 year warranty and after 10 weeks back and forth they eventually replaced like for like.

Later last year and 18 months into their life the new shifters developed the same problem. 3 weeks back and forth ended up with a replacement pair of 105 7020 shifters. No callipers though as they didn’t have any in stock .

When I claimed a 2nd time I bought another RS505 because as it’s a commuter bike I couldn’t afford to wait another 10 weeks like the original claim.

3 months into the 3rd shifters life it’s died a death in the same fashion again. I stumped up for the new callipers/ hoses (£150 ouch - thanks to UK parts shortage) to get my new 105 shifters up and running and put in the claim for refund on RS505.

They have come back with offer of replacement, or refund in vouchers.

Bit disappointed given I’ve lost 10 weeks of the bike, and had to stump up £150+ to cover their shortfall on the 2nd claim.

Where do I stand?


30 days - six months you must give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace it before you can claim a refund"

Consumer Rights Act 2015 - Which?

Thanks for that.

The following is as clear as mud. What constitutes significant inconvenience?

Beyond the first 30 days of ownership you’re entitled to a full or partial refund instead of a repair or replacement if any of the following are true:

  • an attempt at repair or replacement has failed
  • the cost of the repair or replacement is disproportionate to the value of the goods or digital content
  • a repair or replacement is impossible
  • a repair or replacement will cause you significant inconvenience
  • the repair or replacement will take an unreasonably long amount of time.
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Am I understanding this correctly:

  • you bought the bike in 2017
  • since then a shifter has been replaced under warranty a couple of time (I understand you buying one yourself, but legally that’s not really relevant, that was your choice)

Now it’s gone again and they’re offering you more than nothing on a four year old purchase? Honestly, it sounds like you should bite their arm off and consider yourself lucky! Normally a warranty doesn’t reset when they provide a replacement. In the case of a design flaw, that kind of sucks, but a warranty is over and above your statutory rights. Thinking about it the other way around, if someone were an exceptionally heavy user of a component and killed it just within a warranty period, over and over again, they shouldn’t have the right to indefinite replacements since nothing van be expected to last forever and that’s not what you paid for. So.this is where you’d revert to your statutory rights, and the key question is ‘relative to when you purchased it (2017), is it unreasonable for something to have died by now?’. Honestly, 4 or 5 years of commuting (so presumably pretty frequent use) is not an abnormally short lifetime. So if you took them to a small claims court I’d expect you to get nowhere, not even a voucher.

Maybe I’ve misunderstood, are the current failed shifters ones that you paid for 3 months ago?

Nope, sorry my OP is confusing.

The shifter I’m claiming on was bought new in Sept 2021 and died in Dec 2021.

I bought this whilst waiting for them to settle another claim, having had to wait 10 weeks in the past.

Sorry, in that case I reckon that unfortunately it’s a whole separate issue. These shifters are not that old, but not that new either, so I don’t think you can demand a refund. Personally, if you’ve now had so many fail in the same way then I’d take vouchers or anything in preference to the replacement that they’re entitled to give you!

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Were the 105 shifters not compatible with your existing hoses and calipers? If not then why on earth did they give you those (and you accept)?

Im definitely no retail expert but my reading of that is you have to give them a chance to repair/ replace something which is less than 6 months old but if they cant they have to refund you.
However, if the warranty is attached to the bike they’ve had their chance to replace IMO with the replacement failed Dec 21 and you fall in the 6 months or more bracket where you can pursue a partial refund on the bike.
There’s all the points about inconvenience, etc which seems to give you the right to pursue a full refund on the less than 6 months old shifter; which as you say is clear as mud :exploding_head:

No. The newer 105 need different hoses and callipers to the RS505. I was on holiday and so by the time they had emailed to offer me those and respond the shifters had already been delivered.

Having looked in the past at prices I didn’t think callipers we too badly priced so willing accept, but I didn’t appreciate the UK shortages/ price rise at the time.

The shifter bought new, Sept 21, was bought from this retailer?

Yes. All dealings with the same online store.

So your shifter broke last month, you’ve put a claim in, they’ve offered replacement or vouchers. Sounds reasonable on claim which is only a month old.

Sorry, that’s why I’m asking my rights.

I know by law I’m entitled to a replacement, I’m just wanting to check if I can push for cash refund.

I included backstory above, because if the original claim hadn’t took 10 weeks to settle I wouldn’t have bought this shifter.

Thanks for all of the replies!

I’m not trying to get something I’m not entitled to, just wanting to know where I stand for when I respond to their offer.

I’d suggest seeking some free qualified legal advice from a consumer support organisation (Which Magazine / Citizens Advice Etc).

Or, if you work for a large organisation your employer may offer an employee help line / wellbeing and support service which in some cases will include basic level legal advice.

This way you will have confidence in the eventually position you settle on.

The law around consumer rights in the UK is not straightforward and the drafting allows for a degree of ‘interpretation’ depending on the exact individual circumstances. This degree of complexity / confusion is alluded to in the posts already made in this thread.

I’ve had some moderate experience of this in the past and found that the well meaning (and often in many cases reasonably well informed) advice of friends / colleagues / Internet forum users was incorrect, simply because the nuances of the specific case I had, were not fully clarified and understood.

Having ‘proper’ legal advice is (I’ve found) well worth it in terms of not making a mistake and cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Also - the general point made tangentially a couple of times in this thread of a ‘bird in the hand’ is worth contemplation. It may well be in the longer run easier / less stressful etc (and arguably therefore more optimal) to take what is on offer rather than seek to argue for a better outcome.

Either way, best of luck :+1:t2:

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OK, so this is kind of complicated. In a sense, their replacement with 105 shifters was not cool - those were not valid replacements, so they messed up a bit there. On the other hand, you could/should have said to them “hey, this is no good” when you got back from holiday, and sent those 105 shifters back, or asked them to supply compatible hoses and calipers so that you had a working bike. In your shoes, at that point, I’d have tried for that (given that the other model had failed more than once), and happily paid a bit in order to get a 105 set-up that might not have failed like the cheaper model. The fact that you bought replacement shifters yourself because you were worried that it would take them time to sort it out (3 weeks, as it turned out, would probably not be considered by most to be unreasonable) is understandable, but ultimately on you.
If you’re likely to be able to make use of them, I’d definitely just take the vouchers. If not then I’d push a bit harder, along the lines that the 105 shifters was a mistake on both sides, that has cost you, and you’re willing to swallow the cost of the calipers and hoses but in exchange it would be reasonable for them to refund the price that you paid for the recent shifters. I do think that you are relying purely on goodwill though - I’d struggle to believe that you have a strong case in law.
Presumably these shifters are not that expensive. If the vouchers are with one of the big shops, and the vouchers are transferable then you may find a helpful soul who is willing to buy them from you.