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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71403
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I recently purchased a brand new sofa from M&S, there were

Customer Question

I recently purchased a brand new sofa from M&S, there were some issues regarding delayed delivery for which they compensated with by a £150 voucher once it arrived.
However, shortly after delivery I notice that the material covering the front of the sofa had become ‘baggy’, I subsequently informed M&S and they arranged an inspection by an independent technician.
After the inspection M&S confirm that the sofa was in need of repair and would arrange for the technician to visit in order to remedy the problem.
I have declined their offer of a repair and requested a replacement as I believe the fault would have been evident when it left their Supplier’s factory an is not of ‘merchantable quality’.
They have refused to replace the sofa and are only prepared to effect a repair.
Please advise of my legal position.
Warmest regards
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London, England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Just informed them by email that I want the sofa replaced.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No thank you.
Submitted: 20 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hi there. Can I just check, was the sofa made to measure or bespoke in any way?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

and when exactly did you buy it and when was it finally delivered?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Just off the shelf.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** exactly did you buy it and when was it finally delivered?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Ordered thrre months ago and dlieverd three weeks ago.
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Happy to talk on line, thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

OK I understand and thank you for providing this information. Please do not worry and leave it with me for now; I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

When a private consumer makes a purchase from a business seller, they have certain 'statutory' rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. If you wanted to refer to the legislation directly, please follow this link:

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 specifically states that there is an expectation that goods must be:

- of satisfactory quality – they must not be faulty or damaged

- 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, the consumer will have certain legal remedies against the seller. Any rights against the manufacturer will only be under a manufacturer’s warranty or guarantee that came with the goods, which is entirely separate. It is, however, important to note that there is no protection against fair wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage.

If the goods do not meet any of the above criteria, the consumer’s 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 applied within 30 days of purchase or, if later, delivery.

2. Repair or replacement – this is still an option in the first 30 days, if the consumer does not want a refund and becomes the standard options after the 30 days have passed. It is the consumer’s choice as to whether they choose a repair or a replacement. If a repair is chosen, the seller is given one opportunity to provide a satisfactory repair, meaning that if it fails, the goods can still be rejected for a refund, even after the initial 30 days have passed. Alternatively, if the consumer wants to keep the goods, they can ask for a price reduction, based on what is wrong with them. That is something to be negotiated with the seller.

An important aspect of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 is that there is an assumption that any issues complained of, which have become obvious or developed within the first 6 months of buying the goods, were present at the time of purchase. If the seller disagrees that his was the case, it would be up to them to prove otherwise, if challenged in court. On the other hand, any issues which develop more than 6 months after purchase, are assumed not to have originated at the point of sale and it is for the buyer to prove otherwise if challenged in court.

Once a decision has been made on which of the above rights to pursue, the seller should be contacted, preferably in writing, to discuss that with them. If they refuse to discharge their legal obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, a formal letter before action should be sent, asking for the desired resolution and making it clear that legal action could follow through the courts.

In the event this matters needs to be taken further, the following are the relevant links:

A report to Trading Standards can be submitted first:

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court:

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 20 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 19 days ago.
I sent an email to M&S requesting a replacement sofa under the Consumer Rights Act and the replied:
"Thank you for your email.
I would have to follow the recommendation of our independent technician. If you are not in agreement with this course of action I can only suggest that you contact the Furniture Ombudsman. I am, of course, keen to resolve the matter for you but this would involve a repair.
Please let me know how you wish to proceed".
How should I respond please?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 19 days ago.

Hello, thank you for your further queries, I will be happy to answer these. You cannot force them to agree with you or to discharge their obligations under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 so you could indeed go to the Ombudsman if needed and after that your only option would be the Small Claims Court