Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.
Have they said that they won't carry out any further repairs or replace it?
Please can you also tell me how long after purchase the sofa had an issue?
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Many thanks for your patience. You will have two separate sets of rights here – one would be against the seller directly because they sold you an item, the other is against the insurer under the insurance policy.
Firstly, your consumer right state that 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 they were applicable at the time of purchase they would still be relevant to you.
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. 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.
Secondly, under the insurance policy if they are obliged to repair this then a failure to do so is basically a breach of contract.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you can follow to pursue either party for compensaiotn, 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
Thank you. If you are claiming under the insurance policy then you will need to liaise with the insurance company. You have to identify what exactly you are covered for and point out to them the rights you have under this policy. In the end if they fail to resolve the issues and discharge their obligations under the policy you can complain to them using their formal complaints procedure. If that does not help you can take this further for free to the Financial Ombudsman which deals with insurance disputes. After that the only option you have is to pursue them for compensation for failing to adhere to the policy terms.
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.