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  • Writer's pictureAustin & Carnley Solicitors

Consumer Law - Know Your Rights!

Nowadays, more and more people are becoming aware of their consumer rights. If you reside in England and Wales and have purchased something which you’re not happy with - read ahead to know what remedies you are entitled to as a consumer!



If things have gone wrong, then you may need to rely on a set of legislation contained within consumer law. The applicable legislation will depend on a variety of factors, but most importantly whether the purchase was made in-store or online.

 

Purchases made in-store

If a purchase is made in store, then usually under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 you would only be entitled to a suitable remedy if the goods in question are either:

·         Not of satisfactory quality

·         Not as described.

·         Not fit for purpose

 

It will need to be established if the goods in question are damaged or faulty. It is possible that the retailer may want to establish this through sending out a technician to undertake an inspection. If no fault is found, then you would not be entitled to a remedy.

 

If a fault has been found within the first 30 days, you should be able to exercise your short term right to reject the goods. This would allow you to obtain a full refund.

 

What happens if more than 30 days have passed? If more than 30 days has passed, the onus is still on the retailer to prove within the first 6 months that there is no fault. If it is proven that there is a fault, then you would be entitled to a ‘one shot’ repair or replacement. If that is unsuccessful, then you would be entitled to a full refund.

 

Purchases made online

What about if you’ve purchased the goods online? Ordinarily, if you purchase any goods online, you’re entitled to cancellation rights as per the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013. These run for 14 days from the day that you received the goods in question. You don’t need a reason (such as the product being faulty) to be able to make a return.

 

However, it is important to remember that the same legislation providing cancellation rights also contain a number of exemptions. For example, cancellation rights don’t apply where you have purchased bespoke goods such as made to measure windows. It is also possible that goods which can’t be returned for health or hygiene reasons will not be within the scope of the cancellation rights. There are also separate provisions relating to the supply of digital content.

 

Guarantees/Warranties

If more than 6 months have passed, then the burden will usually fall onto the consumer to prove that there is a fault. However, it is important to bear in mind that consumers still have legal rights for up to 6 years in England and Wales (and 5 years if you are in Scotland). If you have one, it may also be worth pursuing a claim via the guarantee or warranty that accompanied the goods in question. Of course, the guarantee will specify how long you are covered for and under what circumstances you will be able to make a claim.

 

In sum, make sure you follow these top tips for when you’re purchasing goods:

1.    Make sure you keep all receipts and necessary documentation to hand.

2.    Keep track of timescales and act as quickly as possible if you find yourselves in receipt of goods you are not happy with.

3.    Check the terms and conditions of sale when purchasing goods as well as the terms and conditions of the relevant guarantee/warranty itself.

 

Written by Haider Maqsood

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