Buying goods, either in person or online brings certain expectations that they will be in a working condition and suitable for their intended use.  Companies have to abide by strict legislation when it comes to these factors.

Consumer Contracts for Goods,

Consumers can expect that goods will be in conformity with the core rights:

As Described

Goods provided must be the same as any description applied to them; this description can be made verbally or in writing.

Of a Satisfactory Quality  

Satisfactory quality means that the product should be of a quality that a reasonable person would expect from the goods, taking into account any description, the intended purpose and the price that is paid.

The quality of the goods includes:

  • Fitness for all the purposes for which goods of the kind in question are commonly supplied
  • Appearance and finish
  • Free from minor defects
  • Safety
  • Durability

When considering if goods are of a satisfactory quality it is relevant to take into account any public statements made by the trader, producer or their representatives about the specific characteristics of the goods.  These statements could be in the labeling or the advertising.

Fit for the Purpose Made Known

If a consumer intends to purchase goods to use for a specific purpose (other than that which it is intended) then the goods should be suitable for that purpose if the company confirm this is suitable.

Matching a sample or Model

The goods must match any sample that has been examined prior to the purchase unless any differences have been pointed out by the company. 

Suitable remedies

A consumer has the possibility to determine how they are remedied when goods are not considered Satisfactory Quality. 

Short Term Right to Reject

The consumer can reject the goods within the first 30 days of the purchase if any of the core rights have been broken. This rejection is active at the point the consumer makes the company aware of their intention to do so. The company is obliged to provide a refund and the consumer must return the goods or make them available for collection.  The company must pay any reasonable costs for returning the goods.

The company must refund the consumer within 14 days of agreeing that the consumer is entitled to the refund.  This should be done by the original payment method unless the consumer agrees otherwise.  The company cannot place any fees on the consumer in respect of the refund.  

Repair or Replacement

The consumer can opt for a repair or replacement during the first 30 days rather than claiming the short term right to reject the goods.  If the 30 days has passed then the right to a repair or replacement is the only option at this point.  The consumer has the choice for a repair or replacement but if the chosen remedy is impossible or disproportionate then the company have the right to provide the other.  

The company must perform the request within a reasonable time without causing significant inconvenience and cover any necessary costs.  A consumer must give the company a reasonable time to provide the chosen remedy before requesting the alternative or claiming their short term right to reject (if still within 30 days).

Price Reduction or Final Right to Reject

This remedy becomes available when the following is experienced:

  • 1 failed repair or replacement or both repair or replacement are impossible or disproportionate  
  • The repair or replacement has not been done within a reasonable time or without causing significant inconvenience

If this happens within the first 6 months of purchase the consumer may ask to:

  • Keep the goods and have future payments reduced by an appropriate amount
  • Keep the goods and receive a refund less an appropriate amount
  • Reject the goods and receive a full refund.

When this occours after 6 months of purchase the only change is that if you claim your final right to reject then the trader does not have to refund in full and can claim an amount for useage.  If the goods in question are motor vehicles then the company is able to refund, less an appropriate amount for use in the first 6 months.

Further assistance

This is intended as a rough guide to your rights - for more specific advice please contact us.