What rights do consumers have in the UK?
UK consumers are some of the most protected in the world when it comes to what are known as statutory rights. These are rights which are contained within parliamentary laws, the most notable of which is the Sale of Goods Act 1979. Under this Act, consumers are given rights of return in circumstances where goods sold do not meet a set of basic conditions. If you have been sold a faulty product and a retailer is refusing to hear your complaints, contact your solicitor for legal advice.
Goods must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory
The rules which consumers have under the Sale of Goods Act are quite straightforward. Under the Act any item sold must match the description given to it. It must also be of a satisfactory quality, and finally it must be fit for the purpose for which it was sold. If an item does not match these criteria, and it is returned, or rejected within a reasonable time, then the retailer is bound under the Act to offer a refund providing you can demonstrate proof of purchase.
Right to refund, repair or replacement
What qualifies as a reasonable time period varies from item to item and will depend on what a court views as a reasonable time. For example, you might only have a few days to return an item of produce bought from a food retailer for a few pounds, whereas you could have several weeks or even months for a digital radio or television which might have cost hundreds of pounds. Proof of purchase need not be a store receipt, and could just as equally be a bank statement showing the item purchased, or a credit card slip.
Online shoppers have even more protection thanks to two pieces of law; the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002. Under these Acts online retailers are bound to provide a certain level of information to consumers in advance of a purchase, a cooling off period and must deliver goods within a certain time or offer a full refund.
If you would like to obtain legal advice on consumer rights, Contact Law can put you in touch with a local specialist solicitor free of charge. So, if you have any questions or would like our help in finding local solicitors please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.
- Last Updated on 15/05/2013