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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I purchased a outdoor gas burner in July 2015. We have had

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I purchased a outdoor gas burner in July 2015. We have had problems with igniting the item since new, it has been repaired a couple of times by the retailer, however the problem continues. I have requested a replacement burner and informed that "it is unlikely to be the burner it is more likely to do with the exposure of the item in my garden & our climate! " . Its a outdoor Burner!,
Surely this confirms the item is not fit for purchase and as such could I take them to a small claims court.
Item cost £2,300 and I have got many e-mails between myself and the retailer. I also have electrician who can confirm the on going problems from the time of purchase up until now.
This has been very frustrating.
Thank you L Blackhall

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben

Did you initially buy these in-store on online?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court today so will prepare my advice in a while 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. Thank you.

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 replaced but as they were in force at the time of purchase 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 further 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 t follow should you have to take this matter down the legal route, 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

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand what you are saying however the item was returned within the first 6 months, it was returned repaired however the repair did not last and the same problem has occurred twice since.
For now he will come back he will get it working but the repair is not lasting.
How can he blame it on the climate when the product has been designed and purchased for use outside.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please can you advise, as I said it was returned within the 6 month period and supposedly repaired. Does this have any bearing on my case?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.

I think blaming it on the climate is just an excuse they are trying to use without it having much merit. Of course I am no expert on the subject but that is what it would appear like.

At this stage you should really be considering taking this further for compensation, assuming repairs will not resolve this or if a replacement is refused.

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 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 1 year ago.
I have just sent him a reminder that I have yet to hear back from him,and have asked him to do so by the end of this week or early next week. I have also offered to send the item back to him again for repair, and asked him to reconsider with regard to replacing the item in order to resolve this ongoing problem. I have 30 plus e-mails between myself and him over a 15 month period. Does this suffice or do I need to send correspondence via the post?
Many thanks

You do not need to correspond via post, emails can suffice and as with post make sure you keep copies

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello again Ben.
After threatening court action I have finally received correspondence stating that he will visit the property to repair the item however it will now be chargeable.
I have refused as I feel I should not have to pay for a ongoing fault and really want to pursue this in the courts now, to get compensation.
I don't believe the item is fit for purpose. Do you think this is fair, I feel I have been extremely patient.
Regards *****

Ig repairs have been attempted and failed to resolve the issue then you ahould really be pushing for a replacement now or adequate compensation if they refuse to replace it

Sorry about typos, i hope you know what i meant

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben
I have now been told to be aware as he has £500k of legal expenses insurance.
Should I take this as a threat!
Thanks Lorrilee.

not a threat as such, just that he is prepared for a fight if needed...