The part that appears at the end, (as amended) is very important if you intend to use this Act -
When you buy goods from a trader, such as a shop, market stall, garage, etc, you enter into a contract, which is controlled by many laws including, the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended by the Sale & Supply of Goods Act 1994 and the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations (2002). The law gives you certain implied, or automatic, statutory rights, under this contract.
The Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) says that goods should be as follows:
Of satisfactory quality. This means the goods must meet the standards that any reasonable person would expect, taking into account the description, the price and all other relevant information. In some circumstances, the retailer may be liable for any statement made by the manufacturer about the goods. Satisfactory quality includes the appearance and finish of the goods, their safety and durability and whether they are free from defects (including minor faults)
Fit for the purpose that goods of this type are generally sold. They must also be fit for any specific or particular purpose made known to the seller at the time of the agreement.
As described - goods should correspond with any description applied to them.
When are you not entitled to anything?
If you were told of any faults before you bought the goods.
If the fault was obvious and it would have been reasonable to have noticed it on examination before buying.
If you caused any damage yourself.
If you made a mistake, e.g. you don't like the colour, it is the wrong size etc.
If you have changed your mind about the goods, or seen them cheaper elsewhere.
What are you entitled to ask for?
If the goods are faulty at the time of sale, you are legally entitled to request one of the following remedies:
[U A full refund.
This remedy is available when the goods have not been accepted. Under the Sale of Goods Act, acceptance can take place in three ways:
By telling the retailer that you have accepted them.
By acting in a way with the goods which is inconsistent with the sellers ownership. E.g. if you have altered the goods in any way or customised them then you would be deemed to have accepted them.
By keeping them for longer than a reasonable time without telling the seller that you have rejected them. There is no time specified in the Act and it may vary according to the type of goods. Ultimately, it may be for the judge to decide whether an unreasonable time has passed and whether goods have been accepted. For this reason you must contact the supplier, preferably in writing, as soon as the fault appears. To delay may mean you lose a right to a refund.
If acceptance has taken place, then only the following remedies are available:
[U Compensation (damages)
The amount of compensation may be based on the cost of repair, or if that is not possible, compensation may be based on the purchase price with an allowance for usage.
[U Repair or replacement
The trader can refuse to agree to either of these remedies if it is disproportionate in comparison to the other remedies. For example, if you ask a trader to replace a washing machine then he would be entitled to turn down your request and offer a repair instead. However, the repair or replacement must be carried out within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience to the consumer. If this does not happen or the repair or replacement is not possible, then the consumer can rescind the contract (claim a refund) or request a reduction in purchase price. Please note: The remedies of repair/replacement and the subsequent rescission or reduction in purchase price are not applicable to Hire Purchase contracts and other laws apply.
[U Rescission or reduction in price
These financial remedies can only be achieved by a failure of the repair / replacement option once acceptance has taken place. If the trader agrees to rescission, the amount paid may be reduced to take account of usage. Once you have chosen a remedy and the trader has agreed, you must give the trader a reasonable time to effect the chosen remedy before switching to another one. Ultimately, if a remedy cannot be agreed upon, then the courts have the power to choose any of the remedies.
Who can you claim against for faulty goods?
Your claim could be against:
the retailer under the Sale of Goods Act;
the manufacturer (under the terms of a guarantee if you have one);
a credit company if financed by credit
the credit card company
If the seller is in business, he may have committed a criminal offence if he:
sells goods which are unsafe;
has given a false description to the goods;
gives a false description to the services he is providing e.g. falsely claiming to be a member of a trade association;
advertises a misleading price;
displays a sign which states No Refunds.
If you feel that any of the above could apply, you should report the matter to your local Trading Standards [U before you return to the trader .
Hope this helps somebody out, but you should always seek advice before approaching the trader.