When a consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they will have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. The law states that the goods must be:
· of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged when you receive them;
· as described – they must match any description given to you at the time of purchase; and
· fit for purpose – they should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for,
If they do not match the above requirements, you will have certain legal remedies against the seller.
If the goods do not meet the criteria mentioned above, you will have the following rights:
1. Reject them and request a refund - this is only possible if the rejection occurs within 30 days of purchase.
2. Ask for a repair or replacement – if you are too late to reject the goods or do not wish to get a refund straight away, you can ask the seller for a repair or replacement. If a repair has been arranged but has failed, or if a repair or replacement are not possible, you are still entitled to ask for a refund, or a price reduction. Alternatively you could get a second repair or replacement at no extra cost to you. However, the retailer can refuse if they can show that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative.
A useful rule is that if a fault appears within the first 6 months after purchase, the law assumes that they did not meet 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 fault occurs more than 6 months after purchase, it would be down to the consumer to prove that they did not meet the statutory requirements set out above at the time of sale.
If there is still time to reject the goods and request a refund, you may do so. If you are outside of the initial 30 days and are too late to reject them, you can still try and resolve this by contacting the seller and asking them for a repair or replacement. You can quote the applicable rights you have under the Consumer Rights Act 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.