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Buying Goods: Your Rights

Your Rights

Whether they are new or second- hand, goods you buy from a shop, market, catalogue or any other trader must be of satisfactory quality.

What is satisfactory quality? This would be judged based on the account of the price, how the goods were described and other relevant factors such as their age.

Taking these factors into consideration, goods should be

  • Able to be used for the purpose it was bought for.
  • Satisfactory in appearance and finish
  • Free from minor defects
  • Safe and durable
  • As described for example, by the seller or on packaging or labels.

If you notice a defect after purchase you must contact the seller as soon as possible and inform him of the situation. If the defect is one that you should have noticed because it was quite obvious or it was pointed out to you before purchase and you decided to buy it anyway, you cannot later change your mind and reject the goods claiming they are unsatisfactory.

What can you do

Your legal rights are against the seller, whether they are a shop or a market stall. Do not be turned away by the sellers usual excuse “it’s the manufacturers fault”.

If the goods do not work after first examination you can reject them and get your money back.

You do not have to accept a credit note.

If you agree to a repair it will not stop you claiming your money back if the repair turns out to be unsatisfactory.

You do not lose the right to reject by signing a note acknowledging delivery.

If you have had the goods for a while giving you reasonable time to examine the goods or have used them for more than a trial and they go wrong or do not meet the test, you cannot reject them but you can claim compensation.

You can claim for the loss in value of the goods and for any harm caused by their use or not being able to use them this would often be a free repair, replacement or reduction in price.

It is good practice to keep your purchase receipt as proof of purchase however this is not the only proof that can be used to make a claim. You can also use your bank statement if it shows the details of the purchase.

If you have paid by credit card

As credit cards are easy to use and are accepted by the majority of traders in both the UK and abroad, they are the most commonly used type of credit. If goods are faulty, the situation is the same as above.

If you buy goods or services using a credit card or on finance up to the value of £100 or more, you can make a claim against the credit card or finance company for the full value of the goods or services if things go wrong. This is true, even if you paid an initial deposit of £100 on the credit card and the balance in cash. This does not apply to charge cards, debit cards and switch cards.

Organisations that will help

These websites have the necessary information for service users to contact to obtain consumer advice Nationally.



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For all general enquiries and guidance on whom to contact for consumer complaints, please contact Office of Fair Trading (OFT) Enquiries on 08457 22 44 99, or email [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>

This document was provided by Islington Law centre.