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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I bought a fridge/freezer from Curry's some ten years ago.

Customer Question

I bought a fridge/freezer from Curry's some ten years ago. It has rusted over the body of the fridge, both on the front doors and on the side of the appliance and is a health hazard. I have had insurance cover through Curry's for the time that I have had the fridge/freezer.
I have informed Curry's of the rust and Hotpoint sent an engineer out. He told me he could not replace the body of the fridge and that Hotpoint would state that it issue was "cosmetic". I went back to my local branch of Curry's who informed me the problem was cosmetic and they could do nothing. I told them that if the fridge was in a commercial kitchen it would not reach health and safety standards. They told me that it wasn't in a commercial kitchen.
Please inform me of my legal rights before I complain to their head office.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
thank you please continue
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

If possible, please can you tell me what the warranty says about the body of the fridge; if available?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It says it does not cover "cosmetic" damage where it does not affect the operation or "safety" of the product.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If you are too busy now please send your advice by email to "*****@******.***. Please respond.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice during the day and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 months ago.

Thanks for your patience. You will be too late to rely on your consumer rights by arguing that the fridge is not fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality. That is because there is a 6 year time limit to bring in any claim for breach of your statutory rights. So whilst there is nothing stopping you from raising these rights in negotiations, if they refuse to accept this, you cannot take the matter further.

You will nevertheless still have contractual rights under the insurance that you have. Your rights will be solely against the insurance provider, should they decide not to honour the insurance terms and provide the necessary cover. This would only be the case if you should have been able to make a claim but they are unreasonably refusing this and not adhering to the policy terms.

In your case the issue is whether this is a cosmetic damage or not. In some respects it would be because it does not affect the operation of the unit, it is mot the compressor, door hinges, etc so the unit is still usable and is working fine. It is not a safety issue in a sense that there is no leak of gases, although you are arguing that it poses a safety hazard due to the presence of rust.

So there are valid arguments on both sides. In the end only a court can determine if they have unreasonably refused to provide the necessary cover. Before you go that far I suggest you use their complaints procedure to full completion and then also consider using the free Ombudsman service.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should no resolution be reached using the steps above, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my response should be visible on this page. Please let me know if this has answered your original question and if you need me to discuss the next steps in more detail? In the meantime please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. The question will not close and I can continue with my advice as discussed. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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