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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I bought a lawnmower on 15th. June last year and it broke

Resolved Question:

I bought a lawnmower on 15th. June last year and it broke down on the third usage. I requested a refund, but the vendor would not agree to this, and insisted that I return the machine for repair, where they fitted a replacement engine.
Several days ago it broke down again, this time a fault with the throttle mechanism. The safety cutout did not work, and I was unable to stop it. It ran for several minutes before stopping.
I have used the mower only ten times since new, and have had to make other arrangements to have my lawn cut in the interim.
I have again requested a refund, but this has again been refused. I have been told to return the machine for repair again. I asked for a replacement whilst it was being repaired, but this request was ignored.
I have been put to great inconvenience. Sending the mower for repair is not a straightforward matter. I am required to drain it of petrol and oil, and package it in a safe manner. I am reasonable practical, and have been able to do this. However, if I were not practical, I would have had to pay someone to do it.
As things stand, I have not yet sent the machine off for repair (still under guarantee). As well as having had minimal use from it in 12 months, I have had to spend several hours dealing with the matter.
Do I have grounds for insisting on a full refund? Do I have grounds for compensation for my time and inconvenience?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Did you buy this in-store or online?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Online
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
from The Power Site
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your patience. 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. These laws have been replaced since but as you bought yours before 1 October 2015, the old legislation will still apply.

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 are not really going to be able to claim for your time in dealing with this as it is assumed that you will have to expend some time resolving issues and that is a given in these circumstances. 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.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to issue a claim for compensaiton, 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 is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

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.