The contract can still be valid because legally she may still have been deemed to have capacity and if she really did not want to sign it she could have refused to do so. So at some point she would have still voluntarily decided to enter into the agreement, even if it was as a result of a pushy sales pitch. In other words,, she did not have a gun to her head so to speak and was not threatened in any way if she did not sign the contract.
So the way to pursue this would be under consumer legislation because 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, she will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Her rights will not be against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible if there was a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee with the goods. 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 she changes her mind and no longer wants the goods.
If the goods do not meet the criteria mentioned above, she 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.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if she is too late to reject the goods or does not wish to get a refund straight away, she 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, she is still entitled to ask for a refund, or a price reduction.
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, she may do so. If she is outside of the initial 30 days and are too late to reject them, she can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. She can quote the applicable rights she has 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, she will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings to seek compensation for her losses.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps she can take to pursue the matter further, 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