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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 49814
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have ordered a sofa to be made for my from a high street

Customer Question

I have ordered a sofa to be made for my from a high street store, on returning home and re measuring my living room, I have found it won't fit, I phoned the shop the next day to cancel the sofa, only to be told they have a no cancelation policy, it was taken out on credit and I have paid nothing towards this sofa, they said I have to go in and choose another sofa. Where do I stand?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 4 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is Ben and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Did you give them specific measurements when you ordered?

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : no, there was a sofa on display, it was a corner sofa with only 1 arm, the sales person overheard us talking and said it can come with 2 arms, the same size sofa as the 1 on display but with 2 arms, this is not the case, when we got home and checked the measurements on their web site it was 31cm bigger, making it too big for my front room
Ben Jones :

So were you given the wrong measurements by the seller?

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : We werent given any measurements
Ben Jones :

ok so I just need to work out if you were in any way misled about the measurements of the sofa?

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : She told me it was the same as the 1 we were sitting on which was 210cm but when we checked the sofa with 2 arms at home it was 241cm
Ben Jones :

As a consumer, who has made a purchase from a business seller, you will have certain rights under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (“SGA”) and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 (“SGCR”).

When you purchase goods, your statutory rights say that you can expect them to be of satisfactory quality, as described and fit for their purpose. If they are not, you will have certain legal remedies against the retailer that sold you 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 3-4 weeks after purchase.
  2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods, or simply do not want to return them, you can still ask the retailer for a repair or replacement without causing any significant inconvenience.

As you are still within time to reject the sofa you can do so and advise them that you are doing this under the SGA because it is not as described - the product was described as being the same, yet it turns out it is not.

One issue would be if it was obvious that adding another arm would increase the size of the sofa. For example, if the existing arm obviously stuck out at the end, any reasonable person would have been expected to realise that adding the same arm on the other end would have stuck out too and added extra length to the overall size. So if something was that obvious, and considering the seller did not give you specific measurements rather than just a general description, arguing that they were acting in breach of the SGA could become a bit more difficult to prove.

Nevertheless there is nothing stopping you from writing to the retailer and the finance company and letting them know that you are asserting your statutory rights under the SGA and SGCR. Advise them that you are requesting a refund and give them 14 days to comply. Inform them that if they fail to co-operate you will have no choice but to commence legal proceedings to recover any damages that have resulted from this. Whilst you may not necessarily do this, it may put some pressure on them to act.

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : The end of the couch where there wasnt an arm was a rounded cushion, she said that would be where the are would be, making the sofa the same size.
Ben Jones :

ok if that was the case it is better for you because you were given the impression that the size would not be affected so there is still an argument that the item was not as described

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : If I cancel my finance agreement, and go to the shop and let them know I have cancelled it, where will that leave me, they have told my that as soon as an order is placed, they pay the supplier straight away do in effect they have already paid for my sofa, is this true?
Ben Jones :

I cannot say how they work with their suppliers, that is for them and the supplier to agree on. When you purchase an item through a finance agreement, your rights which I mentioned above are against the creditor, not the seller actually so you would be going to the finance provider to advise them of the cancellation and the rights you are trying to apply. That is because the 'seller' in this case is not the shop but the finance provider

JACUSTOMER-k0937ruj- : If I cancel my finance, and tell the shop, who have already told me they have 'parked' my order with the supplier so the sofa isn't being made, could the shop make me pay them back?
Ben Jones :

potentially yes, if you had a contract with them directly then they can pursue you but of course it does not mean they would be successful especially if you had a valid reason to reject/cancel

Ben Jones :

Please let me know if this has answered your query or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this?