Main consumer laws

 

1.    SALE OF GOODS ACT ("SGA")

 
"You do not necessarily need that five-year extended warranty that the shops always try and sell you"
 
The Sale of Goods Act says that goods you buy must be FIT FOR PURPOSE.
 
This means that it must be as described, of satisfactory quality, sufficiently durable and free from any defects.
 
If you've ignored the manufacturer's warnings and neglected the goods, then you probably haven't got much of a case.
 
However, if you have looked after the goods properly and they have stopped working then that suggests something may have been wrong with it at the very beginning.
 
What the SGA says in relation to timing:
 
For the first four-five weeks you have a "right of rejection" - if the item you've bought breaks down, you can demand a refund.
For the next six months, you are entitled to replacement or repair of the goods. It is up to the retailer to prove there was nothing wrong with it if they wish to get out of having to do the work. And then after six months, there is still a duty to replace or repair faulty goods, but the onus is on you, the consumer, to prove that there was something wrong.
And the key time span is six years. That's how long goods may be covered by the Sale of Goods Act. It all depends on what "sufficiently durable" means.
 
The Government's guidelines say: "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description."
 
And be aware that if you go to the washing machine repairer, spend money attempting to diagnose an inherent fault, and find out you have been using it the wrong way, then you are going to be out of pocket.
 
NOTE: A key fact is that your relationship in the Sale of Goods Act is with the retailer, not the manufacturer.
 

2.    CONSUMER CREDIT ACT

 
"Your credit card provider is often liable (S:75)"
 
If you pay for goods using your credit card and something goes wrong and you are left in a position whereby you cannot get a refund, your credit card company may become liable to refund you instead. This law is under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. However, it only works when you're paying for things that cost between £100 and £30,000.
 

3.    SUPPLY OF GOODS AND SERVICES ACT

 
"Services are like goods"
 
This Act does the same for services as the Sale of Goods Act does for goods. The service provided has got to be provided with reasonable skill and care.
 
In essence, you have rights to put the bad service right. Either the offending persons must do it, or they must pay for someone else to do it.
 

4.    DENIED BOARDING REGULATIONS

 
"Airlines cannot mess you around with impunity"
 
If you are denied entry to a flight where you met all the boarding criteria - prompt check-in, valid ticket and in a fit state to board - or the flight is cancelled, you now have rights.
 
Firstly, you get "reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination".
 
You are also entitled to "care". The EU's summary mentions "refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails".
 
And you're in line for compensation of 250 euros for all flights of 1,500km. You get 400 euros for all flights within the EU of more than 1,500km, and the same for all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500km. All other flights get you 600 euros.
 
Compensation only applies to cancellation, not delay.
 
The airline can avoid compensation if passengers are notified at least two weeks before departure. And if they are notified less than two weeks before, and are re-routed with only minor delays, they will also not be compensated.
 

5.    DISTANCE SELLING REGULATIONS

 
"When buying over the web, you can to change your mind"
 
The Distance Selling Regulations allow customers a cooling-off period of seven working days. For goods, this counts from the day after the goods are delivered. For services, it's seven working days from the contract being agreed.
This applies to all transactions carried out over a distance, not just to online transactions.
 

Disclaimer

Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the legal information contained on “consumeruk” is accurate, it does not constitute legal advice tailored to your individual circumstances. If you act on it, you acknowledge that you do so at your own risk. Neither the Proprietor nor Dean Dunham can assume responsibility and do not accept liability for any damage or loss which may arise as a result of your reliance upon it.

 

 

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