Buying Goods - Your Rights?
A recent Trading Standards press release suggests that you should brush up on your consumer rights and 'think safe' when buying goods or services.
Goods must be :-
a. Of satisfactory quality; So they should be fit for their usual purposes, safe, reasonably durable, free from faults, of satisfactory appearance and generally what a reasonable person would expect;
b. As described verbally by the seller, in adverts and displays, on outer packaging;
c. Fit for any particular purpose that you made known to the seller, for example a watch suitable for scuba diving.
Here are some tips to help take some of the stress out of shopping:-
- Keep all your receipts in case you need to return any purchases. Don’t be tempted to throw them away, as proof of purchase is invaluable if the goods need to be returned.
- If anything you buy – from a biro to a new car – turns out to be faulty, you have the right to claim a repair, replacement or a refund. If an item is faulty, it is up to the retailer you bought the goods from to sort the matter out, not the manufacturer.
- Tell the shop if you are buying it as a gift, so if it is faulty the person you have given it to can take it back with the same rights as you (see the article above). Some shops have special gift receipts.
- Always remember that if a gift is not suitable, the retailer is not obliged to offer a refund or an exchange. Many will offer a replacement or credit note as a gesture of goodwill, but this is not a legal requirement.
- For expensive goods costing more than £100, think about using a credit card, particularly if you have to leave a deposit. This way should problems arise; you will get extra protection from your credit card company.
- When buying toys, check they have a CE mark and take account of age warnings and safety instructions. Remember younger brothers and sisters may get their hands on toys, and small parts could be dangerous for children under 3 as they may cause choking.
- If you are buying on the internet remember that traders by law have 30 days maximum to deliver, unless they have promised a shorter delivery date, in which case they must stick to what they have promised.
- And last but not least with the popularity of decorative candles make sure that you use them safely, as they are a significant cause of house fires. Always ensure candles won’t tip over, are never left unattended, are not near combustible materials, and they are fully extinguished before you go to bed.
- For further advice contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06
When buying a new present from a trader, you have all the normal rights under the Sale Of Goods Act 1979 (amended). These are that
Goods must be :-
- Of satisfactory quality; So they should be fit for their usual purposes, safe, reasonably durable, free from faults, of satisfactory appearance and generally what a reasonable person would expect;
- As described - verbally by the seller, in adverts, displays, on outer packaging etc;
- Fit for any particular purpose that you made known to the seller, for example a watch suitable for scuba diving.
Who can enforce these rights?
If you tell the seller that the item is to be a present, then the seller can, at the time of sale, insist on dealing only with you, the purchaser. This rarely happens, and indeed some retailers actually give gift receipts for the recipient to use to prove the contract. Therefore the recipient of the gift can usually deal with any faulty goods.
These rights cover any gift or item bought by one person for another, but make sure that the seller is aware of when the gift is due to be given.
What if I still have problems?
If you have any problems or questions about presents - or any goods or services - more information is available from the Consumer Direct website. They can be contacted by phone on on 08454 04 05 06.
Page Last Updated: 15 March 2010