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‘Tis the Season… to know your Consumer Rights

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With the festive season fast approaching your Christmas shopping is likely well underway, but what happens if a gift you have purchased is broken or faulty?

Whether you purchased the gift online or in store, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 affords you protection, and sets out that the goods you have purchased should be:

  • of satisfactory quality - goods should not be faulty or damaged (unless you have been made aware of the fault before purchase);
  • fit for purpose - you should be able to use the item for the purpose it has been supplied; and
  • as described - the goods must match the description given or the model shown to you before purchase.

If a gift you have purchased falls below any of these standards, you can exercise your rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

Short term right to reject

Consumers have a short term right to reject goods for a refund, if they are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described.

This right is short-term and is limited to 30 days from the date of purchase.

The right to repair or replacement

If you’re an organised shopper, your gifts are not likely to be opened within 30 days of you buying them. However, after the expiration of the first 30 days from purchase, you are still afforded protection if the goods are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described.

Within the first 6 months from purchase, it is assumed that any fault has been there since the time of purchase and you have the right to have the goods repaired or replaced if they are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described.

The rights above only apply when there is a fault with the gift. In the case of unwanted gifts, if bought in a shop your right to a refund will be at the retailer’s discretion and subject to their returns policy.

The rules are slightly different if you purchased goods online or over the phone and if this is the case you have 14 days to cancel the order after receiving the goods, and in most cases a further 14 days to send the goods back for a full refund.

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.
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