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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69890
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi I purchased a top of the range Hot tub in August 2010.

Resolved Question:

I purchased a top of the range Hot tub in August 2010.
In June 2011 a pump had to have a part replaced, a week later the same pump was replaced due to it failing.
July 2011 another pump failed and had to be replaced. On my insistance the supplying company also replaced the other 3 pumps
June 2012 the main computer pack became faulty and was replaced (all of the above were done free of charge under warranty)
In July of 2012 I sent a letter to the supplying company stating that should any further issues occur with the Hot Tub (beakdown of pumps etc) that they would be considered as a breach of contract and that I would have the right to reject the goods and seek either a new replacement or a full refund.

Earlier this month (April 2013) another pump failed and was replaced (again free of charge under warranty). Some of the jet inserts are now failing releasing small ball bearings into the Hot Tub (the user manual states these are not covered by warranty) and I now think there is a leak on the Hot Tub.

Am I in my rights to demand a full refund after 2 years 9 months on the grounds that it would reasonably be expected, that a top of the range product should be free of fundamental defects, durable in the long term and require minimal maintenance. The original cost was £13,600 for the Hot Tub including installation and a few additional accessories (spa steps, cover lifter and chemical pack)

Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your question . My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Is this something that can be easily repaired?

The repairs were effective last time?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I assume it will be easy for the supplier to repair

Previous repairs of other components were effective


Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

I know this isn’t going to be the answer you want to hear, and it’s certainly not what I want to tell you. However, I wish to be completely honest with you, so I feel obligated to not give you false hope.

You are entitled to expect anything you buy should be ‘fit for purpose’ under the SGA. That doesn’t mean perfect but it does mean reasonably good with reference to the price you paid. This was an expensive product so there isn’t likely to be any argument that it should be defect free.

The question here really is what remedy is appropriate. It is quite difficult to reject goods under the SGA. The fact of delay is not the issue per se. Sometimes you need a period of time to realise that it is not sufficiently durable. There are several cases relating to cars mostly that confirm that rejection is open to a consumer many months after purchase.

The difficulty may be though that the faults are not, of themselves, huge. A fault usually has to be pretty catastrophic before you can reject under the SGA. You could try to argue that although none of them are massive of themselves there are a lot of smaller ones so building up a bigger picture but thats not the strongest point I’m afraid. Ultimately it is a factual test for a court though and if you are willing to take the risk of relying upon it then it might achieve a result.

Even if you were successful on that point though, there is still not realistic prospect of a full refund. They would be able to reduce the refund to reflect the period of use you’ve had from the item.

Thats not to say that you don’t have a damages claim against them for any cost that you do incur in repairs. I realise the warranty is covering them at the moment but that will expire in time.

Equally you can always report them to trading standards although often they will not engage now in reports directly from consumers.

I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.

Hope this helps. Please remember to rate my service either OK SERVICE or above and then I will give you related information for free.

Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69890
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your honest opinion/answer. I will use this to decide whether to take it further with a solicitor. I admit, it was more or less the answer I expected

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem.

All the best.

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