What are my entitlements?
The Sale of Goods Act requires that goods be accurately described, of satisfactory quality and fit for any purpose specified. In other words, they must ‘conform to the contract of sale’. If this is not the case within the first 6 months after purchase, you have a range of remedies available to you which you should take up with the seller. It is not a straightforward matter of demanding a refund plus damages if this is unreasonable and disproportionate in terms of the item you bought or the problem you encountered. For example, it would be unreasonable to request a brand new car on the basis of a broken brake light, Similarly, where a washing machine can be easily fixed in situ, you are unlikely to be simply given another one.
Repair, replace, reduce, refund
In the first instance and if considered appropriate, the seller must offer to at least repair the goods. They must do this within reasonable time, at no additional cost to you and without causing any significant inconvenience. It is for this reason you are given a replacement item while the one you bought is being fixed. Take care to ensure however you are given a ‘like for like’ product and not simply the cheapest and most basic model. If a repair is impossible or unfeasible, you must then be offered a replacement. Due to the emphasis on proportionality and reasonableness in this legislation, in most cases you must give the seller reasonable time to repair or replace before demanding your money back and you should be aware that the refund given may well take account of any use you have had of the goods since you took possession of them. If you do not want the seller to repair or replace, or they have told you they are unable to, you can then request they reduce the purchase price to an appropriate amount, although this does not affect your ability to return the item if something else goes wrong.
- They say I’ve taken ownership so it’s my responsibility
- Do shops have to give me my money back?
- The shop doesn’t want to know, they say it is the manufacturer’s responsibility.
- It’s second hand – do I have any rights?