The title of the question basically sums up my question but for completeness I will provide some more details.

Roughly 15 months ago I entered into a contract with a large phone service provided who provided me as an accessory to the phone a fairly nice portable speaker. So far no complaints. Fast forward to a couple of days ago and the speaker has stopped working, won't charge, wont turn on, in its current form it is more or less a glorified paper weight. It might be worth adding despite it being a portable speaker it has never left the house or been dropped or sustained damage from its use and is always put back in its box for storage (which itself is pretty well padded).

As far as I am aware (and I could be wrong) under EU law there is a minimum 2 year guarantee for faulty goods. At first I contacted the manufacturer to try and claim on the guarantee and was told that as they where not the retailer who sold/supplied the device it wasn't their responsibility to cover the guarantee and to contact the retailer who did. I then contacted the retailer who proceeded to tell me that as they did not make or manufacture the device they would not help me under the guarantee and I would need to get in contact with the manufacturer to resolve my issue.

So the question is really, who is right and who should I be contacting?

2 Answers 2


It's the seller's responsibility.

Note that in the UK you actually get much more than 2 years. The 2 year rule is the minimum required by the EU, but each country is free to implement that as they choose and the UK has much more.

In the UK you are protected by the Consumer Rights Act. It states that products must last a "reasonable length of time". What counts as reasonable depends on the goods. For electronics 2 years is usually the absolute minimum, but for things like televisions the courts generally consider it to be 5 years even for cheap models.

Under the Act the retailer is responsible. They can either replace the device or refund you, with the refund amount accounting for the 1.5 years use you had from it. As it was part of a phone contract it could be difficult to agree on a value for the speaker, but looking up the replacement cost for the same or a similar device is a good place to start.

Which? has a lot more information and advice.


It’s the seller’s responsibility. If the seller tells you to contact the manufacturer they are frankly talking out of their arse.

For many products you have a warranty that the manufacturer gave you voluntarily, so for example after 11 months you could have contacted either and each one would have had to help you.

That's especially important if a product breaks between 6 and 12 months, because the manufacturer's warranty often has better terms than the law gives you during this period.

And don't be afraid that you will cost the retailer money; most likely the retailer has a contract with the manufacturer where the manufacturer will carry all the cost, the law only says that the retailer needs to get your item fixed, not that it has to cost the retailer money.

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