Consumer Law

Avatar Image
Raebet | 21:11 Tue 23rd Mar 2010 | Law
12 Answers
I have purchased a settee and chair items sold separately. The settee was delivered with a tear which the delivery men were made aware of at the time of delivery. The dimensions of the chair and settee are 3" deeper than advertised. Am I within my rights to return both and ask for a refund?


1 to 12 of 12rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by Raebet. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.

Are the store saying otherwise?
I'm not 100% convinced that the answer is so simple, potentially. Did you purchase the goods outright, or on finance/HP? Under Sale of Goods Act, s14(2B)(c) requires the goods to be 'free from minor defects'.
Under the Sale of Goods Act, there is a right of repair, but a demand for a repair must be reasonable in relation to all alternatives. Do you feel that a repair is an unreasonable demand when considered against the cost of the sofa? The seller may offer you a repair, free of charge- I'm unsure as to whether a demand for a refund is right here, because I can't see the goods! As you can imagine, if the sofa could be repaired perfectly for £50 and the refund would be £500, it could be a tricky argument.
The seller is responsible for the safe transit of goods, so as long as you had a reasonable time to inspect the goods before accepting them, the seller is prima facie liable for the damage (or at least the hauliers are liable- the point is, you're not.) You said that you made the company aware of the defect upon delivery, so this shouldn't pose a large issue.
The measurements are more intricate. 3 inches may not seem like much, but I guess that if you can't fit the chairs into your house, then it becomes a big issue. To begin with, I'd check over all the paperwork you signed just to be sure they didn't alter the sizes on the invoices. If they did, and you signed, you're stuck with them. That's called the 'last shot doctrine'.
The section on 'satisfactory quality' of goods is one of strict liability. This means that the seller is liable to you and not the manufacturer, so don't be fobbed off my being referred back to the manufacturer!
* by, not my. You'll see the typo when you read it.
It's very simple if the goods are damaged when delivered you have a right to a replacement or a full refund. Do not accept a repair as this will affect your right to a refund. If goods develop a fault within a reasonable period from purchase which is usually 6 months they are deemed to have been faulty from new. In short demand a replacement or a refund it's your right.
You say it's very simple, but what good would demanding a replacement be if the dimensions are going to be the same? Plus, you're presuming that the goods were bought outright and not on credit/finance/HP etc. etc., which is a dangerous presumption to make. Differing acts apply to the two, so it helps to know section and verse before confronting anyone with the law.
Measurements aside, if the person originally did want the chairs, why should they not accept a repair if it would allow them to keep the goods? Seems like common sense to me. Plus, if they do still want a refund because of the sizes, then the whole tear issue becomes irrelevant, except as a fall back argument.
I'm always wary of giving 'simple' and one word answers anyhow. Giving both sides of any potential argument gives the question asker a fuller picture of the law and backs up one's opinion.
In reply to the above, it doesn't matter if it was cash or HP you have the same rights when it comes to faulty goods check the consumer law.
I had the same problem with a 2 seater I bought, the seat collapsed within 2 weeks of purchase and the leather was faulty. The company involved refused a replacement or refund until I contacted Consumer Direct who gave me the legal info I needed. I sent a court summons to the sed company and hey presto they backed down and gave me a full refund. I used the advice posted above so I know that what I am saying is correct.
There Simple !
I didn't say it wasn't correct, I said it wasn't necessarily simple. It potentially isn't. Are you familiar with the last shot doctrine? If not, why do you presume the answer is simple? If you are, why do you ignore the possibillity that I suggested and fail to advise the person to double check the paperwork?
I also didn't say that the law materially changes depending on the statute, I said that if you want to quote "section and verse", you will need to know what legislation you are using!
Sale of Goods Act? s14(2)
Supply of Goods and Services Act? s4(2)
Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act? (Unlikely) s10(2)

If you really want to play "I know what I'm saying is correct" (which as I explain I didn't dispute) then let's do so:
I have a Masters Degree from King's College.
I have co-authored 2 papers on the impact of the Consumer Credit Act 2006, one of which one me an award. The other was in French, debating the merits of 'Connected Lender Liability'.
While studying in London, I did some work in volunteer centres, sometimes dealing with these issues. I never once had to resort to a "court summons" (your term).
I am a fully trained (though no longer a worker) of the CAB.
I'm not trying to be an ass, I just REALLY think you need to advise more caution. Since when was the law simple?
Look at the end of the day It is simple if you know your rights. The actual process isn't but that's not the issue the law is. Considering you have all of these qualifications you not acting very grown up asking me if I want to PLAY. If you know as much as you say you do then why are you out of work ? Did you give someone duff information and cost them money ? I however still work with the law.

Your Serve !
There's something ironic about you using the term childish and then ending with "your serve" and wondering why I'm unemployed- which I'm not. I'm now a property developer, not that it really matters. I chose not work with the law as after 4 years of study and then work experience and lecturing, I'd rather have cut my eyes out with a rusty spoon. However, I studied the law as it's useful in everyday life and allowed me to enjoy 4 years of student-dom. And yet again, you fail to understand what I'm saying: I didn't ask if you wanted to play, I was pointing out that you appear to lay down the gauntlet with "I know what I'm saying" and now "I still work with the law" (as do I on an almost daily basis) and then end with a petty insult.
It's amusing that you claim to work with the law (which you may well do) but you had to contact Consumer Direct for advice on a basic contractual matter, and then you question my knowledge. I'll put the fact that you think I'm unemployed down to another one of your 'simple' conclusions, when I could have been on holiday/on a day off/on a night shift/self employed...
(apologies to the question poster who will have to read all these)
Game on ! only joking lighten up pal
Question Author
Thanks for the answers, I didn't think my "simple" question would open such a debate! Still none the wiser, didn't buy on credit, paid outright, found out the leather is actually pvc (ever been had!), the seats have collapsed and my new settee and chair look like I've had them years! Just awating for the Solutions Team to inform the shop's customer services department on the action to be taken.

1 to 12 of 12rss feed

Do you know the answer?

Consumer Law

Answer Question >>