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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 73959
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a caravan awning that I purchased in January 2019

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Good morning, I have a caravan awning that I purchased in January 2019 when I bought a new caravan.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Sorry I sent my enquiry to soon - regarding my caravan awning - it has been only used for five times since I bought the awning, but during our stay in Cornwall two weeks ago - the awning leaked through the roof in two place ?? The awning has been stored in my garage during the extended lockdown periods and having taken it back to Tamar Caravan Centre - they have said that as it is outside its two year guarantee period they can do nothing ?? However considering we were not allowed to attend caravan sites which were shut down anyway, plus we were not allowed to tow our caravan because of the Covid 19 restrictions- please can I ask if the company should extend the guarantee period to be able to repair or replace the awning under the Sale of Goods Act. Also can I take this matter further through the Small Claims Court as the awning cost £600.
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: £600.00 ! Thank you. Martin Axe, Plympton PL7 4JE.
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?
Customer: No only now wanting to take this matter up with Tamar Centre and I will be going to see them this morning ! Thank you.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: The company who made the product state a Two year guarantee period - but because of the government restrictions , I feel that they should assist me - especially as the awning was stored in its bag and inside my dry garage !! thank you.

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.

Can I just check if the company have investigated the tears and cause at all? and how many times have you used it please?

Customer: replied 20 days ago.
The company has refused to check it as they keep saying it is outside the guarantee period ! I have used it for one week during 2019,three weeks during 2020 and for one week in May 2021 this year.

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.

Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 20 days ago.
Thanks

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:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted

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: https://ssl.datamotion.com/form.aspx?co=3438&frm=general&to=flare.fromforms

Afterwards, a claim can be pursued in The County Court: https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

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.