Consumer Rights Explained

Consumer Rights Explained


As consumers we have all at some time or other had to return faulty goods that have let us down just when we needed them the most. When we haven’t had the goods very long it is even more upsetting so when a quick trip back to the store ends up in a wrangle with an awkward shop assistant the day just gets worse. We all need to know what our legal rights are regarding returning goods that are faulty plus what we need to do in case of poor service.

Faulty Goods

We all have the right to expect goods that we purchase to be in good working order. The law does give us rights when we buy goods so, what are these rights and how can we put them into practice?

What does the Law say Regarding Faulty Goods?

Items bought from a trader must be

Satisfactory quality

Fit for purpose

Match the given description

What Next if it Isn’t

You should be offered a repair

You should be offered a replacement

You should be offered a refund

You should be offered a part refund

Are there Any Exemptions to this Rule?

  • These rights are not applicable in certain cases such as
  • The goods are not faulty
  • The fault was apparent when you purchased the item
  • Your attention was brought to the fault when you bought the item
  • You have caused the damage yourself after you bought the item
  • The goods have lasted the expected lifetime
  • Wear and tear has occurred as normal

Will I get a Refund?

If you kept your purchases for too long before you decided to return them you may not get a refund. You may also be refused a refund if the goods have been altered or tampered with in any way or if you have attempted a repair before you returned them.

In some cases a part refund may be available. You may negotiate a settlement in part with the trader in which case you will have to pay any expense incurred by returning the goods such as postage charges. You may also claim a refund if the goods you bought were custom made and are not what you ordered. A good example of this is maybe you had a dress made and requested silk only to find polyester has been used.

A refund request involving goods supplied along with a service can be tricky. You may have had blinds fitted that are faulty and won’t close. You can ask the trader to collect the blinds without charge, while if they refuse unfortunately it may mean you have to go to court to get satisfaction. You are expected to keep the goods safe until the trader collects them but if he does not within a reasonable time you are allowed to dispose of the goods.

Your refund should be repaid in the manner you paid for the goods. So, for example if you paid by debit card then the amount should be credited back to your card or if you paid in cash then the refund should be a cash refund.

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