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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Suspect I have a Sale of Goods Act question: nearly a year

Resolved Question:

Suspect I have a Sale of Goods Act question: nearly a year ago I bought some very expensive bike components from a bike shop that were to be built into a new bike. However, the bike builder has just informed me that the shop ordered the wrong parts and they can't be used. I think it's fair to say that the error should have been clear to the shop, but I couldn't reasonably have been expected to spot it.
However, given the passage of time, what are my rights against the shop for supplying the wrong goods?
Thanks for your help!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Why has it taken so long for you to spot the error - did you not use the parts soon after you bought them?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No - they were to be included in a custom-built bike, and the builder has a 6-month waiting list. He's working on the bike now, and has just told me the parts (they're carbon fibre wheel rims) are the wrong spec. They can't be used. The bike shop knew the exact spec for the full build, so it should have been obvious to them that they'd ordered the wrong model of rim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
By the way - hi Ben, and thanks!
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
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. However the key is that this period depends on what would have been a reasonable time for you to determine that the goods did not conform so it would depend on their nature and use. For example if you bought something a year ago but it was only delivered recently, then it would be reasonable to allow all that delay as you have only just had the chance to realise the issues.
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.
If there is still time to reject the goods and request a refund, you may do so. If 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
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Great - thanks Ben, useful answer. Much appreciated!