The Act sets out very clearly the remedies a trader must offer to you if your rights are breached.
The remedies, explained below, are
- short term right to reject
- right to repair or replacement
- right to a price reduction or final right to reject
If the goods are not
- of satisfactory quality
- fit for a particular purpose
- as described or
- in line with a sample or model
all of those remedies are available to you.
If the goods are not
you have all those rights except the short term right to reject.
Short-term right to reject (s.20 and s.22)
You can reject the goods and treat the contract as at an end. You must tell the trader that you are exercising this right.
Once rejected, the trader must give you a full refund without undue delay, and in any event within 14 days from the date that the trader agrees that you are entitled to a refund. You must make the goods available for collection or return them as agreed. The trader must bear the reasonable costs of returning the goods. A trader cannot charge a fee for a refund.
You have 30 days from purchase or delivery to reject the goods. If the goods might perish in a shorter period of time, you must reject them before they perish.
If, during the initial 30 day period you ask for a repair or replacement, the 30 day period is paused. If, after repair or replacement the goods still do not conform with your statutory rights, the 30 day period will restart. You will then have at least 7 days to exercise the short term right to reject, no matter when the initial 30 day period was paused. For example, if the 30 day period was paused on day 29, once the goods have been repaired or replaced, you can then exercise the short term right to reject within 7 days (despite the fact that only 1 day of the original 30 was left).
Right to repair or replacement (s.23)
If you exercise this right, the trader must repair or replace the goods within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to you, and bear the costs of doing so. The trader does not have to repair or replace the goods if it is impossible to do so or would be disproportionate compared with rejecting the goods or allowing a price reduction.
If you ask for goods to be repaired you cannot ask for them to be replaced and cannot reject them without giving the trader a reasonable time to repair them. The same applies if you first request a replacement.
If, after repair or replacement, there is still a problem with the goods, you can reject them as outlined above.
Right to a price reduction or a final right to reject (s.24)
You must make a choice between a price reduction or final rejection of the goods. Only one of these rights may be exercised if
- there are still problems with the goods after one repair or one replacement
- it would be impossible or disproportionate to require a repair or replacement or
- a repair or replacement has been requested, but the trader has not carried it out within a reasonable time or without significant inconvenience to the consumer
If you exercise your right to a price reduction, the trader is required to reduce the price by ‘an appropriate amount’. If you have already paid the price, this may require a partial refund. In some instances you might be entitled to be refunded the full price of the goods.
If you exercise the final right to reject, any refund may be reduced to reflect your use of the goods. However, unless the goods in question are a motor vehicle, a deduction cannot be made where you exercise the final right to reject within the first 6 months after taking delivery of them.
No deduction may be made for any period after a date when the trader had agreed but failed to collect the goods.
Once you have rejected the goods, you should receive any refund within 14 days from the date the trader agrees that you are entitled to it.
Other general legal remedies
The Act does not prevent you from seeking other legal remedies if a trader breaches a contract to supply goods. These might include making a claim for damages, seeking ‘specific performance’ i.e. forcing the trader to comply with the contract, or terminating the contract.