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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I purchased an expensive bed and divan in June 2012. The bed

Customer Question

I purchased an expensive bed and divan in June 2012. The bed came with a lifetime guarantee and in June this year I contacted the vendor to inform them that the bed seemed faulty. An independent assessor came out and ruled that the bed was in fact faulty. A new, replacement bed was issued within 3 weeks which I wasn't overly impressed with and would have preferred a refund. I have now had the new, replacement bed for 2 months and the same patterns are occurring with this bed. I've contacted the vendor who has started the process of requesting an independent assessor to come and inspect the bed. I've been doing a little due diligence into my consumer rights and I would like some advice and steering on where I stand in terms of requesting a refund for the product?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Are you asking essentially whether you have a claim for a full refund?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Yes, you're right. In essence I would like to establish if I can legally request a refund on the basis of the fault with the original purchase or whether I would have to wait until a decision's made about the replacement bed given I accepted the replacement bed albeit that I was unaware that I should have been offered a refund - or that's how I'm interpreting what I've read recently

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm afraid it isn't quite that appealing.
The SGA gives a purchaser a right to either a refund, full or partial, an exchange or a repair. The purchaser chooses which is preferred unless the seller can show that the preferred option is disproportionately expensive for them. That is usually the ground they rely upon to avoid an immediate refund.
There are cases, that mostly relate to second hand cars but the principle applies, that say that a merchant should be given three attempts to conduct a proper repair or provide an adequate exchange before a purchaser's rights to a refund are triggered again.
Therefore, usually demanding a refund at this stage would be difficult to obtain unless they agree which might happen. Often merchants do far more than they have to in law.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So just to clarify, can I request a refund at this stage and hope that they don't suggest that it's disproportionately expensive for them? Or am I best to see this through, hope the second replacement mattress is ok or in the event that it's not, request a refund given it will then be the third attempt?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You can ask for anything you like. Anbody can ask anything. The question is whether they have a right to demand it.
You may as well ask.
If it is refused and the third attempt fails you would have a right to demand it anyway.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm still confused. I understand what you've outlined in your answers,however it seems more definitive under the Sale of Goods Act 1979. This bed was custom made, it was deemed faulty and a replacement issued. The same problems are now occurring. What I need to know in explicit terms, is do I have the legal right to expect a refund for the original bed or even the replacement bed?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm not going to be able to be any more explicit then I have been.
It depends on whether or not they argue it is disproportionately expensive and if they do then you would need to give them three attempts.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Ok, I understand. Can you define or give any suitable examples of what constitutes 'disproportionately expensive' to them? Is it the cost of transit or other? As they only act as an agent to the actual bed manufacturer, I can't understand how they would be at a loss.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
There isnt a definition but the more expensive and bespoke the item the more likely it is to be made out.
It would be accepted here. It is a bespoke product of high value.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry, what do you mean by 'made out' and what would be 'accepted here' - a refund?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, it will be accepted that it is disproportionately expensive for them to refund. It plainly is.