Hello, I tried calling a couple of times today but where was
no answer. I will reply in writing for now.
The majority of legislation dealing with purchases of goods
and services is aimed at providing protection to private consumers when they
have dealt with a business. When it comes to business-to-business transactions,
there are still some relevant laws and rights, but they are just not as
extensive as with consumer protection ones. As you bought the van for business
use as well, you won’t be able to rely on consumer protection.
The assumption in B2B transactions is that the contracting
parties are deemed to be more sophisticated, in a stronger negotiating position
and able to decide what is far and what is not. The main pieces of legislation
covering this area are The Sale of Goods Act 1979 and The Supply of Goods and
Services Act 1982 which provide for certain implied expectations.
If the transaction was for the purchase of goods, it states
that they 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 the goods do not meet any of the above criteria, the
buyer is able to reject them or challenge them within a reasonable time. This
period is not defined in law and would depend on the specific circumstances,
i.e. how long it would have been reasonable for someone using the goods in
question to inspect them and determine their suitability or that they are free
from defects, or notice the issues complained of. Saying that, there is a
common understanding that the first 30 days after entering into the contract
would generally be considered reasonable.
Do note, however, that there is no protection against fair
wear and tear, misuse or accidental damage. If the buyer is too late to reject
the goods for a refund, they can still ask for a repair or replacement instead
and these rights carry on beyond the initial ‘reasonable time’ for an automatic