Your rights on faulty goods
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 became law on 1 October 2015, replacing the Sale of Goods Act. Under the Consumer Rights Act all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.
Satisfactory quality means that goods shouldn’t be faulty or damaged when you receive them. The goods should also be fit for the purpose they are supplied for. Finally, the goods supplied must match any description given to you, or any models or samples shown to you at the time of purchase.
If you have bought a faulty product your rights under the Consumer Rights Act are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, so you must take any claim to the retailer.
Under the Consumer Rights Act you have a legal right to reject goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, and get a full refund – as long as you do this within 30 days from the date you take ownership of your product. After 30 days, you will not be legally entitled to a full refund if your item develops a fault, although some sellers may offer you an extended refund period. The 30-day period is shorter for perishable goods.
If you are outside the 30-day right to reject, you have to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace any goods which are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described. If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you can then claim a refund or a price reduction if you wish to keep the product.
If you discover the fault within the first six months of having the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time you took ownership of it – unless the retailer can prove otherwise. If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund, or price reduction if you wish to keep the product. The retailer can’t make any deductions from your refund in the first six months following an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement. The only exception to this rule is motor vehicles, where the retailer may make a reasonable reduction for the use you’ve already had of the vehicle after the first 30 days. If you’d prefer to keep the goods in question, you can request an appropriate price reduction.
If a fault develops after the first six months, the burden is on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time you took ownership of it. In practice, this may require some form of expert report, opinion or evidence of similar problems across the product range.
You have six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England. This doesn’t mean that a product has to last six years – just that you have this length of time in which to make a claim if a retailer refuses to repair or replace a faulty product.
For expert help with your rights contact Citizens Advice in Southport located on Wright Street or call 01704 38 5627.
The content of this article is drawn from the Which? website: