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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I bought a caravan awning online in January. I used it the

Resolved Question:

I bought a caravan awning online in January. I used it the first time in March and for a maximum of 14 weeks in total. Early September the awning ripped. I contacted the retailer who arranged collection but they sent it to the manufacturer who say there has been excesive use and it is my fault!!
I have argued with the retailer that they should either refund or replace as the awning was less than 1 year old but they are now ignoring me. The awning cost £500 so I am very out of pocket.
Going through my credit card/bank is not an option.
Is there anything else I can do?ThanksJulian
Submitted: 19 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

So how have the defined 'excessive use' and what kind of warranty the the retailer provide with this purchase?

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
Hi, There was no mention of warranty in the Amazon advert but a replacement was mentioned in one of thier later emails.See attached for reason of excessive use fron the manufacturer
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

OK, thank you for your response. Leave it with me for now and I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, 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 19 days ago.

Thanks for your patience. When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which states that the goods must be:

· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when received

· as described – they must match any description given at the time of purchase

· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for

If they do not meet the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller (not against the manufacturer as they will only be responsible under a manufacturer’s warranty that came 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 you change your mind and no longer want the goods.

The rights against the seller are:

1. Reject the goods and request a refund - this must be done within 30 days of purchase or delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this can be done within the initial 30 days or after, if that deadline has passed and a rejection is no longer possible. If a repair is not possible or has failed, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, or if the consumer wants to keep them, they can ask for a price reduction.

Based on which option you are wishing to exercise, you must contact the seller and advise them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under consumer laws, you should remind them of these as per the details above. If they still appear reluctant to assist, write to them one final time, warn them that they have 7 days to comply and inform them that if they fail to honour your legal rights, you will have no choice but to start legal proceedings to seek compensation. From my experience, Amazon are quite good at resolving consumer issues like this and with a little pressure I would hope they will just issue a replacement rather than force you to take formal action.

Please take a quick second to leave a positive rating for the service so far by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars above. I can continue answering follow up questions and in particular can also discuss the steps you need to follow if the mater remains unresolved. There is no extra cost for this - leaving your rating now will not close the question and means we can still continue this discussion. Thank you

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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Thank you. Assuming you have to go that far, if a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 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 them for the compensation in question. 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 a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.