Saturday 24 February 2018

'My fridge is broken but the shop I bought it in has closed down'

Q Dave got in touch about a fridge freezer that he bought five years ago, which cost him €1,200.

But "it can't reach a low temperature," writes Dave.

So he got a repair man to have a look at it who told Dave that the fridge freezer needs to be 're-gassed', and it was explained that the refrigerant gas had leaked out and there must be an inherent fault with the unit.

This would cost €400 to fix, according to Dave, and "with the likelihood of it leaking again".

"The additional problem I have," he says, "is that the shop I purchased it from has closed down.

"Can I still pursue this issue through the small claims court?"

A The important thing here is that if there is an inherent fault with the fridge freezer, then Dave has a valid case and can seek redress.

Under Ireland's statute of limitations for this type of complaint you can make a claim within six years of purchase, so despite the unit being five years old, Dave still has time.

However, the bigger question is who to claim against?

Under consumer law, you would complain to or make a claim against the retailer where you bought the product. In this case the retailer has closed down and unless a new retailer has taken over the liabilities of the previous one, it means there is no one to claim against.

So given Dave believes the fault is inherent, his best hope is to contact the manufacturer for assistance.

If there was an identified fault with this model, then the manufacturer should fix it. And if not, hopefully they will be able to help in some way.

Unsure of your consumer rights? Email Tina at

Irish Independent

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