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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My fridge/freezer started to develop problems less than 2 years

Resolved Question:

My fridge/freezer started to develop problems less than 2 years after I bought it. I contacted the retailer and explained what the fault was. I explained that under the sale of goods act, I was entitled to have the product repaired or replaced. They asked for an independent engineers report to identify whether it was a manufacturing fault, which I provided, and eventually accepted that the appliance was faulty.
They offered me the option of either having the fridge repaired or replaced and so I decided I would like it replaced. However, the make and model I currently have has risen in price since I bought mine and so the retailer said I could only have the same make and model if I pay the extra cost, which is roughly £130.
I was told I could have a full refund or choose a fridge/freezer that’s equivalent in price to what I originally paid.
Am I entitled to have the appliance replaced with the exact same model, without having to pay anything extra?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How long ago did you buy please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It was 2 years ago

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
Thanks.
To be wholly honest, you are in difficulty here. I imagine you are covered by warranty as the SGA is unlikely to cover you two years after purchase.
Even if you are covered by warranty though or SGA alike, you are only entitled to a like for like replacement. Neither remedy allows a person to enrich themselves but being supplied with a more expensive machine I'm afraid.
They are offering a replacement but it can only be like for like. Sometimes they will give in. If you complain vigorously they might be willing to bear the loss in the interests of good business.
If you went to court though I'm afraid that you would lose on this specific point.
I'm very sorry but I can only give you truthful information.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The replacement I am asking for is like for like as it is the exact same model. It is only more expensive because the retailer has put the price up.

Can I not expect my faulty fridge to be replaced with the same model?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It depends what your warranty says. There might be restrictions upon that.
If this is an SGA refund then they could argue it is disproportionately expensive. £130 extra is not really disproportionately expensive but it could be raised.
If they do that though they have to offer an alternative remedy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer. I just need to be clear about this as I am a little confused . The retailer has accepted that the fridge has a manufacturing fault and has offered to replace it in accordance with the sale of goods act.

All I am asking is that it is replaced with the exact same model. I am not asking for a better model or a more expensive one, I am just asking for the same fridge that I originally bought. The fact that the retailer has put the price up of that model is nothing to do with me.

Can you clarify why I am not entitled to have the fridge replaced with the same model?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
It is as I have said really.
If there are restrictions on your warranty they could rely on that.
If this is an SGA refund they could argue it is disproportionately expensive for the reasons above.
They would have to offer another remedy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your answer. I am sorry but I still don’t understand what you are saying. What is it that is disproportionately expensive? Is it that the product is now £130 more than what I paid? If so this could be because the retailer has decided to raise the price, not because the product is more expensive. They may still buy it from the manufacturer for the same price.

Maybe I do not understand the Sale of Goods Act, but as I read it a product has to last a reasonable amount of time, which this clearly hasn’t. I have proved there is a manufacturing fault and so I am entitled to have the product replaced. I have asked for the product to be replaced with the same model.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
In fairness to them, the price is going to increase over two years. That is not their fault. That is just market forces.
I'm not sure what else I can add. They have to offer either a refund, replacement or repair unless they can show one remedy is disproportionately expensive. Given the increase they could argue that.
If they do they have to offer another remedy.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69521
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok, I understand now. Thanks for your help.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem.
All the best.

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