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

Discrimination in the Workplace.

By Subhaan Nadeem (Student)

Recognising the value of diversity and promoting inclusivity not only benefits a company but it also enhances the well-being of its employees. However, sometimes employees, job applicants and others are affected by discrimination or discriminative practices.

The law provides protection in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010.

This protects people from being unfairly treated on the ground of things such as their:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation

A case of discrimination can involve several different patterns of behaviour. Both being excluded or suffering from harassment based on a certain characteristic would be considered discrimination. Things that classify as discrimination can be wide ranging, from inappropriate humour to a harassment campaign. Discrimination can also occur indirectly. This is where someone treats all their employees in the same way, but this discriminates about certain groups.

Discriminatory policies may be formal or informal, including one off decisions, long term plans and rules which have been decided but are still to be implemented.

If you feel like you may have been unfairly treated or discriminated against in the workplace, Staffordshire University legal advice clinic (SULAC) provide you with free advice.

If you would like to arrange a meeting, please call us on 01782 294800 or email sulac@staffs.ac.uk.

                                                   Journey through Divorce  

Sameena Azmi (Student)

Divorce is the legal procedure that officially ends a marriage. It involves a sequence of legal procedures to resolve different parts of the marriage, such as the distribution of property, financial assistance for a former spouse, child contact arrangements and other relevant concerns.  Although divorce involves emotional and relational factors, it is primarily a legal procedure that is supervised by the court system where needed.  

There may be various reasons for couples getting a divorce. In England and Wales there is now a process of “no fault divorces”  which means that neither party needs to  show that the other  did anything wrong.  

  • The divorce process generally involves multiple  stages, however negotiation and mediation is encouraged throughout the process. Parties may engage in negotiation or mediation in order to achieve agreement on a range of matters. Mediation comprises the involvement of an impartial third person who assists in enabling discussions between the spouses with the aim of reaching an agreement. 
  • The first step in applying for a divorce is filing a petition which can be done online, along with paying the relevant fee. One spouse submits a formal request for divorce but this can also be done jointly
  •  The divorce paper is sent to the other spouse giving them 14 days to reply. As there is no longer fault in the divorce system, to dispute the divorce there must be a legal reason, it is not possible to dispute a divorce because one party does not want to divorce
  • Before finalising a divorce, an agreement about how to divide finances needs to take place which involve, both sides participating in exchanging information about their finances and property.
  • If a resolution cannot be achieved through the process of negotiation or mediation, the matter may be escalated to a hearing for a judge to decide the outcome. 
  • Once all issues are resolved, a final order can be applied for. This document serves as the legal ending of the marriage.

Going through a divorce can feel complicated and is often an emotional experience. 

If you are considering a divorce or going through the divorce process, you may benefit from legal advice and support.

Staffordshire University Legal Advice Clinic can assist and advise on this process. If you would like an appointment, please contact 01782 294800 or email SULAC@staffs.ac.uk.

Disputes about a person’s estate on their death: A guide to contentious probate

Image by Nattanan Kanchanaprat from Pixabay

Amy Barlow (Student)

When someone passes away, what they leave behind forms their estate, made up of property and assets (their possessions). Usually, their estate is dealt with in accordance with their will. Once the representatives of the estate (known as the executors) have received the necessary formal documentation, the estate assets can be shared out in accordance with the deceased’s will. This is the probate process.

Contentious probate (also known as “contested probate”) refers to any dispute that arises during this process, when the validity of a will or the distribution of an estate is questioned. This can be a difficult process for those affected and often requires legal advice.

Disputes can arise for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

● Disagreements regarding appointment and actions of the executor of the will

● Lifetime gifts and promises

● Feeling as though you deserve more than you have received (which is common among dependants of the deceased – especially those financially dependent on them)

● Suspecting that the will was made under duress or without proper legal formalities

● Mistakes and other disagreements, for example, mis-valuation of property or ownership

In cases of intestacy, when someone dies without leaving a will, the law sets out who should inherit their assets. This can also lead to disputes and leave family members and those close to the deceased with lots of unanswered questions.

These types of challenges can be raised before or after the distribution of the deceased’s assets but it is beneficial to seek advice as soon as possible. Generally, action is quicker, less costly and, more importantly, is more likely to allow assets to get to where they should be when advice is taken before the assets are distributed and possibly lost.

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

Email: Sulac@staffs.ac.uk

Telephone: 01782 294800