The trend of online shopping, while incredibly beneficial, does not allow customers to physically inspect a product before purchase. This leads to a rise in customers ending up with faulty or defective products. Certainly, products can turn out to be faulty even when purchased in person from bricks and mortar stores.
When can you claim?
If the products you’ve purchased are defective or faulty, you are entitled by statutory rights in the UK, under the Sales of Goods Act, to have it replaced, repaired, or reject it outright and reclaim your money. Usually, retailers will rectify the situation without question, particularly if it’s a new or relatively new product.
Make sure that you inform the retailer as soon as you notice the fault or defect. There is usually an allotted time within which you can return the item(s) purchased. Even if you do not want to reject the product, or if you were late, do call or visit the retailer and inform them about the problem. You can ask the retailer to either refund you, or to replace or repair the product.
If the retailer refuses to comply however, you can make a claim for a faulty product where it deviates from the definition in the Sales of Goods Act, which states that products should be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. Timing is of the essence in such cases though, as for the first six months after a sale, it falls to the retailer to prove that the product was satisfactory when sold. If they claim that you caused the fault, then it is up to them to prove it.
You can also have the product repaired by someone else, and then file for compensation for the costs of repair in cases where the retailer refuses to accommodate you.
Injuries and damages
Most cases of faulty products are merely about the expense of purchase, and if necessary, of repairs. In some cases though, a faulty product can cause more significant harm – such as physical injuries, sometimes extremely severe ones, and damages to goods and property. Where physical injuries and/or financial losses have been sustained through a faulty product, you are entitled through the Consumer Protection Act of 1987 to file a claim for product liability compensation.
Reasonable expectation from a customer can be quite subjective, thus difficult to determine and it can be hard to establish the manufacturer’s fault in a production liability compensation claim. Therefore, if you are certain you want to file a claim, make sure you have collected proper evidence to help you with the case. Keep safe all bills and receipts, take pictures of the product and its defects, and document the dates of purchase, of delivery where applicable, and of when you first noticed the fault.
If you have suffered damages or losses through faulty or defective products, and think you might be eligible for a claim, call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 for advice from professional and experienced solicitors and help in making a successful claim.
Date Published: January 5, 2014
Author: David Brown