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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I purchased a Hotpoint fridge freezer in November 2013.

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I purchased a Hotpoint fridge freezer in November 2013. The appliance stopped working in January 2015. I wrote to Hotpoint but they said there was nothing they could do as it was out of guarantee but sent me a cheque for £20 towards loss of food. I had four visits from Indesit/Hotpoint engineers but they were unable to fix the problem and they refunded the fee I paid. However the last engineer reported that the appliance was being exchanged.
When I rang the lady I spoke to said that the engineer had made a mistake and thought the appliance was covered by an extended warrenty and that they were not going to replace the item after all. Surely a fridge freezer costing over £300 should be expected to last more than 14 months and in this case the appliance was not fit for purpose?
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What's the actual problem with the fridge?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The problem was that the appliance stopped working ie keeping cool and the food had defrosted. The engineers replaced several pieces and refilled with gas twice but the readings did not show it working correctly. The last engineer mentioned that there was a small leak somewhere which could not be detected.

Hello, sorry my connection dropped earlier and have just manage to get back online.
When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.
The law states that the goods must be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for purpose. If they are not, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. The only time action can be taken against the manufacturer is under a manufacturer's warranty or guarantee. There is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage, faults that were pointed out at the time of sale or if you change your mind and no longer want the goods.
If the goods are not as described, of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose, you have the following rights:
1. Reject the goods and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within a 'reasonable time'. This period depends on the circumstances, although it is generally accepted to be within the first month after purchase, so must not be delayed.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement without causing any significant inconvenience.
A useful rule is that if the goods are returned within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not conform to the statutory requirements at the time of sale. If the retailer disagrees, it is for them to prove that this was not the case. However, if the goods are returned more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that the goods did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale.
As you appear to be too late to reject the goods, you can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. You can quote the applicable laws and rules as mentioned above. If they appear reluctant to assist, write to them one more time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to meet their legal obligations, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for your losses.
I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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