Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Please can you confirm whether they took the furniture back after you refused delivery? Please can you also advise whether you have challenged their decision in writing to them?
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Hello, I posted a follow up query but after checking up it does not seem to have posted so my apologies - I will try again, I just wanted t know if the furniture you bought was bespoke, i.e. custom made to your requirements and also if you have checked their terms of sale to see if anything says they can deduct a proportion of the costs in the event of such returns?
Thank you. When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The law states that the goods must be:
· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when you receive them;
· as described – they must match any description given to you at the time of purchase; and
· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for,
If they do not match the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Also note that 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 do not meet the criteria mentioned above, you will have the following rights:
1. Reject them and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within 30 days of purchase. This should be a full refund, even if the goods were custom made. You would not have automatically been entitled to a refund had you bought the goods and the return was simply as a result of you changing your mind, but if it does not match the criteria above then it can be returned for a full refund.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods or do not wish to get a refund straight away, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement. If a repair has been arranged but has failed, or if a repair or replacement are not possible, you are still entitled to ask for a refund, or a price reduction. Alternatively you could get a second repair or replacement at no extra cost to you. However, the retailer can refuse if they can show that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative.
A useful rule is that if a fault appears within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not meet 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 fault occurs more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that they 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 are outside of the initial 30 days and are too late to reject them, you can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. You can quote the applicable rights you have under the Consumer Rights Act 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.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need t follow should they refuse to resolve this to your satisfaction, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
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It is rather difficult to say if you have a good claim because in these circumstances a lot can depend on who hears your claim and what their opinion on the matter would be. This matter will go to the small claims court, it is a venue for small scale disputes such as this one. The judge will follow the law but in the end you are going to rely quite a bit on their interpretation of this and what they feel is just and fair. So one person on one day could have a rather different opinion to another person on a different day.
In any event, whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.