Litfad online store sold me a dangerous faulty lamp and they won’t refund me, what can I do?


Do you have a problem to solve? Who? is there to help you solve your consumption problems.

Dear who?

For several weeks I have been looking to buy a set of brass table lamps, which usually cost around £150-200.

I finally found perfectly suitable lamps for sale on a website called Litfad. Best of all they had been reduced from £166 to £75 – I thought I had lucked out and caught an end of line sale or discount and bought two, paying via PayPal.

On delivery, the lamps were really light and I immediately knew that they were far from what I expected. Cheap, thin, molded metal that’s been badly sprayed with streaks of paint that could pass for brass if you squint from at least ten feet away.

What looked like nice features in the pictures online were just molded. I honestly wouldn’t have bought the pair of these for ten in a car boot sale, but paid £150.

I told Litfad that the lamps were of unacceptable quality and asked for my money back.

Over the next two days, around 40 emails were exchanged with Litfad, offering me ever-increasing partial refunds and asking me to keep the horrible lamps. Initially he only offered me a 5% refund, only increasing it to 35% when I threatened to seek legal advice.

I also had a qualified electrician test one of the lamps. He failed a Portable Device Testing (PAT) and their report concluded “I suggest you do not use this lamp, I would not plug it into my own home.”

How can I get my money back?

Joe, Herefordshire

Put to rights

Adam French, which one? consumer rights specialist, says:

It’s infuriating when your online marketplace turns out to be a worthless tattoo filler.

One of the brass table lamps that failed the PAT test.

Even though a PAT test is not legally required if the electrical device is intended for private use, an electrician telling you that he would not use it in his home is a warning that you should take seriously.

If you buy goods online from a retailer who clearly sells to UK consumers, you are protected by a few pieces of UK consumer law, the Consumer Rights Act and the Consumer Contracts Regulationsboth of which give you the right to return online orders for a full refund.

Consumer Rights Law gives you the right to seek a refund if what you’ve spent with your hard-earned money turns out to be faulty at the retailer you bought it from – but if you’ve owned it for more than 30 days, you must give it at least one opportunity to repair or replace it first.

The Consumer Contracts Regulation gives you additional protections when you buy “at a distance”, i.e. online, by telephone or by mail order, and you have 14 days from the delivery of your order to decide whether you want to keep it or not, and send it back for a refund.

There are some exceptions such as hygiene products, personalized or made to measure.

Under either law, it looks like you should have been reimbursed.

Payment protections to the rescue

If you pay with your credit card, you have the added bonus of Section 75 Protection.

This means that if something goes wrong with the purchase and you’ve spent between £100 and £30,000, you can ask your credit card provider to get the money back.

If you pay with your debit card and something goes wrong, you can request a chargeback.

This is where your bank withdraws funds previously deposited into the merchant’s account and puts them back into yours.

Paypal Buyer Protection

Similar to payment protections like chargebacks, Paypal has its own buyer protection policy which promises to protect users against breach of contract, including missing deliveries, or when items turn out to be fake, faulty, or not what was expected.

But you’ll need to file a dispute within 180 days of your purchase or payment.

I’m happy to say that after we recommended you raise a dispute with Paypal, they refunded you the full amount.

Litfad did not respond to our requests for comment.

Get in touch. If you have a consumer rights concern, you should email us at your

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