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Here's some food for thought when it comes to your rights; JAMES WALKER YOUR CONSUMER RIGHTS CHAMPION.


ENJOYING a good meal is a fundamental part of everyone's day, no matter whether you like to make your own MasterChef masterpieces or grab a takeout on the way home.

However, in the last year, Resolver has seen a huge increase in complaints about restaurants and takeaways - over 60,000 cases - and complaints about supermarkets are edging ever-higher too.

Here's a guide to your rights when things go wrong.

BUYING FOOD - YOUR RIGHTS SHOPPING for food is such a part of life for us all that we sometimes don't realise that the rights we have when buying cereal are the same as they are when buying a pair of shoes.

In theory, when returning any item - including food - you have lots of rights regardless of whether the goods or services were bought in store or online, thanks to the Consumer Rights Act.

The act says you have the right to reject something if You have when food it's faulty within 30 days of buying it and get a refund.

However, the one exception to this is goods that are likely to perish within 30 days, when the time limit changes to become the date the item is expected to perish. This is usually the use-by date for food.

If you find something unexpected (or disturbing) in your food then you can expect a written apology, a refund and some compensation. However, don't start booking that holiday or paying off your mortgage just yet. Big businesses like supermarkets are stingy when it comes to dodgy items that have found their way in to products where they shouldn't be.

The norm seems to be a voucher around the PS10 to PS20 mark though some higher amounts are offered where there's some negative publicity in the media. But even then, it's rarely over PS100.

TAKEAWAYS AND RESTAURANTS - YOUR RIGHTS A GOOD meal often comes down to the individual taste and preference of each diner.

What works for some doesn't work for others as any restaurant review will tell you.

But you can't have your cake and eat it, so to speak.

If you've eaten the meal, you won't get far complaining that it wasn't what you wanted afterwards!

The law that is generally considered to be the one that gives you most rights is the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

The act states that you should expect the 'services' to be carried out with reasonable care and skill within a reasonable time and at a reasonable cost.

That's a lot of 'reasonableness'.

The important thing is, if you feel you've not got the service, food, or anything else the restaurant led you to believe you would get, then in theory you can complain.

rights, even shopping It makes sense to make your complaint at the venue and to tell the manager at the soonest opportunity that you're not happy and why.

Take a photo - you can escalate the complaint to head office if it's a chain. But be reasonable about what you want to resolve the matter.

If you just want to cut your losses and leave, then as long as you haven't racked up a massive bar bill it's reasonable to expect some or all drinks to be comped.

If the meal is a big event for you then let the restaurant know how this has impacted on you - they may be able to come up with a solution that compensates for the event being spoiled.

| You can complain about restaurants and takeouts for free at and share your experiences at


You have rights, even when food shopping
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jul 13, 2019
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