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. Any rights against the manufacturer will only be under a manufacturer’s warranty that came with the goods. Do note, however, 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 is known as the ‘short-term right to reject’ and 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 that if the consumer can no longer reject the goods for a refund. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they opt for a repair or replacement. There is a ‘one shot chance at repair’, meaning that if a repair has failed, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep them, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with them.
It is also important to note that the law assumes that any issued which develop within the first 6 months of buying the goods were present at the time of purchase, unless the seller can prove otherwise. If they develop more than 6 months after purchase, it is for the buyer to prove that they were there at the time of sale.
Once a decision has been made on which option you would pursue, 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 statutory rights, you will have no choice but to report them to Trading Standards and start legal proceedings through the County Court to seek compensation.
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