The principles of contract law discussed earlier are evident here, and if the breach is so fundamental or the consequences so significant, you will be entitled to rescind the contract entirely, get your money back and also claim damages. However, your rights in this respect depend upon whether it is felt you have already ‘accepted’ the goods in question. If you have been using the goods in question over a reasonable length of time, or you have given the impression that all is well and you are happy with the product, you cannot rescind the contract, but will be able to claim damages. However the law says that you must have ‘reasonable opportunity of examining the goods for the purpose of ascertaining whether they are in conformity with the contract’, which, in some cases, may be up to a year.
This may seem a bit fuzzy, so to add further clarification, the Sale of Goods Act now states that if a product develops a fault within the first 6 months, the assumption will be that the defect was present at the time of purchase and you should get an automatic repair or replacement. After this time, you may have to prove the fault was not due to misuse, although shops must also recognise issues of durability – i.e how long an item would be expected to last before developing problems.
Just because you sign a delivery / satisfaction note, or agree to a manufacturer’s repair, it does not mean you have accepted the goods, and are waiving your right to return them at a later date.
- 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?