What can you do if you are not happy with something you have purchased?

By Graham Peacham (Student)

What can you do if something you bought is not fit for purpose? Let’s find out…

The law gives you the right to reject and return items bought in certain circumstances, but  what does the Consumer Rights Act 2015 say?

Items, also known as goods, supplied to any consumer must be of satisfactory quality, this includes that they:

  • Meet the description provided.
  • Are fit to be used for purpose that was described.
  • Have a satisfactory appearance.
  • Are safe for use.
  • Are well made and durable.

How do you know if this applies to what you have purchased?

  •  ‘“Goods” is any merchandise or possessions being sold includes tangible moveable items, but can also includes water, gas and electricity.

What should you do if you are not happy with the goods you purchased?

If you are unhappy with the quality of your purchase, then you should contact the trader i.e. the person selling the goods. The sooner you contact them the better.

  • In the first 30 days you have the right to turn goods down and ask for a full refund. If some or all the original payment was made with money, you are entitled to ask for the money back. In some scenarios you may be given store vouchers or in store credit, you can refuse , if you would prefer your money back.
  • After 30 days you may ask the retailer to replace or repair the goods you bought, however at this point you will not be entitled to a refund.

If you bought from a private individual, it will be difficult to enforce your rights providing the goods were accurately described.

When does the time limit begin?

According to section 22 of the Consumer Rights Act, the time limit begins when:

  • Ownership has been transferred to the consumer,
  • Goods have been delivered and,
  • Where a contract requires a trader to take some other action such as instalment for the consumer to use the goods, the trader has notified them that this is complete.

What if you bought something online?

  • Thanks to the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have even more rights as a consumer when purchasing online.
  • This regulation gives you the right to cancel an order 14 days after receiving the goods and beginning from the moment you paid.
  • If on an online order you purchase multiple orders, your time limit will start from the purchase and end 14 days after you have received the whole order.

Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic (SULAC) provides free legal advice on consumer matters. If you would like to arrange an appointment with us, please contact us at:

Email: sulac@staffs.ac.uk

Telephone: 01782 294800

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