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Sale of faulty goods to a consumer - Remedies

Written by Michael Coyle on 28 May 2013

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If the consumer has not had a reasonable time to examine the goods purchased then he has two options:

(1) He can reject the goods by returning the goods for a full refund.  Where the consumer suffers other foreseeable losses due to the faulty goods he can also sue for damages. 

(2) Under section 48(A)(3) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (“the Act”) which states “For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above, goods which do not conform to the contract of sale at any time within the period of six months starting with the date on which the goods were delivered to the buyer must be taken not to have so conformed at that date”, he can assume that a fault arising with the goods in the first 6 months existed on delivery.  Where this is the case, the consumer has the option of demanding the faulty goods be repaired or replaced.  The seller can only refuse if the remedy is impossible or disproportionate.    

Where the repair or replacement (or both) are impossible or disproportionate or where the seller fails to act in reasonable time, and where no unreasonable inconvenience has been caused, the consumer may choose to return the goods and get a refund (purchase price less the amount for use of the goods).

The consumer can also choose to keep the goods and get a partial refund.  Where the consumer suffers other foreseeable losses due to the faulty goods he can also sue for damages. 

If the consumer has had a reasonable time to examine the goods he has purchased within 6 months of the purchase then he can assume that a fault arising with the goods in the first 6 months existed on delivery and can opt for the goods to be repaired or replaced or can reject the goods or get a price reduction where the seller cannot repair or replace the goods or fails to do so within a reasonable time without causing unreasonable inconvenience.

If the consumer has not had a reasonable time to examine the goods he has purchased within 6 months of the purchase then (if it is within 6 years of the purchase) the consumer must prove that the fault existed at the time of purchase.  If this can be proved then the above remedies of repair/replacement etc apply.

By Michael Coyle at Lawdit Solicitors.

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