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Some handy guides (Sale of Goods Act)

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  • Some handy guides (Sale of Goods Act)

    When you buy goods or services the law protects your consumer rights.


    Under SOGA if an item is faulty, it means that it is

    • not of satisfactory quality

    • not fit for purpose

    • does not match the retailer’s description.

    If an item you have bought is faulty you may be legally entitled to a refund or a repair or replacement. What you are entitled to will depend on a number of factors; contact Consumer Direct for more information.
    You do not have a legal right to receive a refund, repair or replacement for any of the reasons listed;

    • fair wear and tear

    • accidental damage or misuse of the item

    • if you don’t want the item any more, for example it is the wrong size or colour

    • if you knew the item was faulty when you bought it

    • if you misused the item and caused a fault

    • if you tried to repair the item or had someone else try to repair it, which damaged the item

    • if it is over six years since you purchased

    ....the item, or for goods purchased in Scotland, if it is over five years since you discovered
    the fault.

    If you buy an item by mail order, telephone or online you have the same rights if the item is faulty (see above). You also have an important additional right if you want to return the item:
    you can cancel your order any time from when you place it up to 7 working days from the day after you receive the goods – even if the item is not faulty.
    Some items bought online cannot be returned simply because you change your mind. For more information on Distant Selling Regulations contact Citizens Advice.

    Find out who to contact for advice.

    You can get help if you’re treated unfairly or when things go wrong. This includes:
    • credit and store cards
    • faulty goods
    • counterfeit goods
    • poor service
    • problems with contracts
    • problems with builders
    • rogue traders

    Citizens Advice can give you help and advice about your consumer rights. They can also refer your complaint to local Trading Standards officers who will then investigate on your behalf.
    Citizens Advice
    08454 04 05 06
    08454 04 05 05 (Welsh language)
    Find out about call charges

    You can also get help with complaints, refunds and repairs from Which?
    Northern Ireland

    Contact ConsumerLine for advice about consumer law, making a complaint and avoiding scams.
    Money advice

    Get free, independent help from the Money Advice Service about anything to do with money, eg managing debt.
    Consumer complaints

    You can complain about certain services for free through Ombudsman Services, including:
    • communications (eg phones and internet)
    • energy (eg gas and electricity)
    • property (eg estate agents and surveyors)
    • copyright licensing

    Buying from another EU country

    Contact the UK European Consumer Centre for help with problems buying from another EU country.
    Last edited by Amethyst; 25th September 2013, 10:07:AM.

  • #2
    Re: Some handy guides (Sale of Goods Act)

    Returning Damaged or Faulty Goods

    The Sale of Goods Act covers the purchase of most things from shops, suppliers and online or mail order retailers. It also details the retailers obligations in situations where you have to return an item to them take on the basis that it is damaged or faulty – or both.
    Your statutory rights

    One of your principle statutory rights is the expectation that the item will be of reasonable quality. This also includes fitness for purpose specified, appearance and finish, freedom from minor blemishes, safety and durability. The failure of the product to meet any one of these criteria is a breach in your statutory rights, enabling you to go back to the retailer, even after some months of use.
    The retailer’s obligations

    If there is an obvious fault with the item at any time within the first 6 months and it has not been caused by wear and tear or misuse, your first port of call must be the shop you bought it from. They have the responsibility to put the matter right, and should not evade this responsibility by referring you to the manufacturer in the context of a guarantee or warranty.
    In the first instance and if considered appropriate, the seller must offer to at least repair the goods. They must do this within reasonable time, at no additional cost to you and without causing any significant inconvenience. If any inconvenience is caused you should be given a replacement item on a ‘like for like’ basis (and not simply the cheapest and most basic model). Many consumer complaints relate to the length of time the item is away being repaired – and although you must allow reasonable time for repair, the law does not say what ‘reasonable time’ is. It very much depends on the item itself and the nature of the problem. For most things, shops would usually allow you to exchange the item or give you your money back straight away. However, if the damage is minor and can be repaired easily, then the shop can insist on this as a first option, although this will not stop you from taking it back if the repair is unsatisfactory or there is something else wrong with it.
    If a repair is impossible or unfeasible, you must then be offered a replacement. Due to the emphasis on proportionality in this legislation, you must give the seller reasonable time to repair or replace before demanding your money back and you should be aware that any refund given may well take account of any use you have had of the goods since you took possession of them. If you do not want the seller to repair or replace, or they have told you they are unable to, you can then request they reduce the purchase price to an appropriate amount, although this does not affect your ability to take return the item if something else goes wrong
    Proof of purchase?

    Shops will often tell you they will only give a refund on production of proof of purchase. Don’t be mislead into thinking this must be a till receipt. It can be a bank or credit card statement, although you may run into difficulties if it is for a different amount than that of the item you are trying to return.
    If the item is damaged, the shop cannot say they will only refund on the basis of a till receipt. However you must have proof of purchase of some kind – particularly if it was bought recently and you want to show that the damage wasn’t caused by continued use or wear and tear over time.

    Where you have no rights

    • If you were aware of the defect before you bought it
    • If you bought it from a private buyer on a non-commercial basis (i.e. not a shop)
    • If you were invited to carry out a thorough inspection of the product and fail to spot a defect which that inspection ought to have revealed
    • You simply changed your mind or the item was not appropriate due to colour, size or style
    • The item is dirty and the mark can be removed easily at home. This is not the same as damage and shops are not obliged to give you any discount

    Buying seconds or damaged items

    If you are buying seconds, you are still entitled to a product which is undamaged and fully useable. If you knowingly buy a damaged product, the specific defect must be pointed out to you before you buy, and although you cannot then return the item on the basis of that defect, it does not mean you cannot return the item if you discover something else wrong with it – even if they have reduced the price. Don’t let the sales assistant tell you otherwise!


    • #3
      Re: Some handy guides (Sale of Goods Act)

      Sale of Goods Act Guidance for Second Hand Motor Vehicles

      Below is a quick guide to practical steps that used car dealers should take to ensure you comply with two important pieces of consumer protection law affecting your customers.

      1. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs), which ensure that retailers deal with consumers fairly and honestly.
      2. The Sale of Goods Act 1979, as amended (SOGA), sets out legal obligations which are helpful to used car dealers to ensure the quality of the vehicle is satisfactory, the description be accurate and the vehicle fit for purpose. SOGA also sets out your duties when something goes wrong with the vehicle.


      1. Before you offer any vehicle for sale you should take all reasonable steps to check its history to make sure that:
      • Everything you say about the vehicle is true, or even if true is not misleading in the way it is presented
        You find out the important information that your customers need to know.
        Such as:
        - Is it recorded as stolen?
        - Is it subject to outstanding finance?
        - Has it been written off or suffered accident damage?
        - Is it an ex-business use vehicle with multiple users?

      2. Before putting a vehicle up for sale you should take all reasonable steps to make sure the mileage is accurate. You should also inform your customers about any mileage discrepancies.
      3. Avoid the use of disclaimers that mislead consumers about their legal rights, for example: 'Sold as Seen', 'Trade Sale Only', 'No Refund' or 'Unroadworthy'.
      4. Have procedures in place for checking the condition of the vehicle you intend to sell to ensure it is safe, roadworthy and of satisfactory quality.
      5. Avoid displaying a vehicle for sale before you have completed your pre-sale history and mileage checks.
      6. Make sure you give your customers the information they need to make an informed decision before a sale is made. This information should include:
      • Making sure you tell the customer about any problems or other issues with the vehicle
      • Clearly draw the customer's attention to the key terms of any warranty or guarantee you are providing
      • Provide important information in writing (checklist form works well)

      7. If the customer wants the vehicle for a particular purpose for which you think it is unsuitable, make this clear in writing, perhaps on the sales receipt, to protect yourself against future claims.
      8. Make sure you have an accessible and user-friendly after-sales procedure to ensure that all customer enquiries and complaints are dealt with in an honest, fair, reasonable and professional way.
      9. If the vehicle you sell is not of 'satisfactory quality', the customer is legally entitled to a number of possible remedies, which may include a full refund or a repair or replacement vehicle.
      10. According to the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, if you give a guarantee, you should remember it is legally binding on you. The guarantee must be:
      • Written in English
      • Easy to understand
      • Clear on the content and duration of the guarantee
      • Available to read at the customer's request
      • Clear that it does not affect the customer's statutory rights
      • Inclusive of the guarantor's name and address

      For more information on the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and any subsequent amendments, see the Act.
      Common Sense .... if in doubt, use it !

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