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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45315
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have purchased a piece of baby furniture just over a year

Customer Question

I have purchased a piece of baby furniture just over a year ago and it's still giving out very strong chemical smells till today. Contact has been made throughout the year trying to rectify the problem but they deny communication other than one email correspondence that they have record for. They now refused to do anything else as it's outside the one year warranty period, but according to sale of good act 1979 I have up to six years to claim for a product not fit for purpose. Do I stand any ground for taking this to court?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. What date did you buy the item?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I purchased online on the 2nd September 2015, the item is delivered sometime around mid September.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

Hi there, sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. 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 These laws have now been repealed but at the time you bought the item they were still in force so you will have to rely on them.

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 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 take if you had to pursue this 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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 45315
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
My biggest concern is the smell coming out of the furniture that has been ongoing for over a year, the manufacturer promised it won't be anything harmful but that's just their words, is there any way of having this tested for health and safety reasons? Do I need to go back to manufacture for this or the retailer? Thanks.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

if you want any tests done then you will have to arrange for these yourself. For now you would have to argue that the way the item is, with the smell, is not of satisfactory quality or fit for purpose. So the rights will be against the retailer where you would be seeking a repair (probably not possible here) or a replacement. If they refuse to replace then you will have to consider buying a replacement yourself and pursuing them for these replacement costs in the terms of financial compensation.

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.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
ok, so long as it's not too late to still request a repair or replacement I will follow the steps you mentioned and see where it takes me, thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 months ago.

no it is not, you are still able to requests these even if you are too late to ask for a refund

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