Consumer Disputes

What Are Consumer Rights?

When you purchase goods or services as a consumer, you will often be required to agree to the supplier's standard terms and conditions.  Retailers in turn have an obligation to ensure that the goods they sell are of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. When providing a service, the service provider has a duty to provide the service with reasonable care and skill.

Your rights and remedies are set out in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”).

What Remedies Are Available?

Faulty Goods

What you are remedies are available, depends on when you contact the retailer to complain about a faulty product. Under the CRA you are entitled to a refund, if goods are faulty and returned within 30 days of delivery. 

After the initial 30 day period, provided the product was purchased less than 6 months ago, you have to give the retailer one chance to repair or replace the product. If the repair or replacement is unsuccessful, then you are entitled to a refund or price reduction, without having to demonstrate that the goods were faulty at the time of purchase.

After 6 months, you are still entitled to a repair or replacement, if you can demonstrate that the product was faulty at the time of purchase. The retailer will also be entitled to make a reasonable deduction for the period of use from any refund offered.  If you purchased a motor vehicle, then the retailer’s right to make a reasonable deduction arises after 30 days. 

Unsatisfactory Services

The CRA covers all types of services, for example, car and washing machine repairs, dry cleaning, building work, buying a fitted kitchen or bathroom, as well as buying a meal in a restaurant. When a service you have purchased has not been carried out without reasonable care and skill, you are entitled to ask that the service is carried out again or to a price reduction (which may be the entire amount paid).

How can our Consumer Law Experts Help?

If you are unable to resolve your complaint with the supplier, then we can we offer expert legal advice on your consumer rights and how best to enforce them. Where required we can help you to obtain an expert’s opinion on what, for instance, constitutes satisfactory quality, reasonable care and skill or a reasonable deduction for use. We will try and resolve the dispute through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution where appropriate.

Legal Cover

You should always check your existing property and car insurance policies to ascertain if you have legal expenses cover in place, which may cover your consumer law dispute. If you have legal expenses cover, then it is important that you contact your insurer to provide details of your dispute, so that they are able to tell you if it is covered. We would be happy to guide you through this process. Your insurer is likely to have a panel of preferred firms, but that does not mean that we cannot act for you.  By law you are entitled to choose your own solicitor. If you would like us to act for you, then we are happy to contact your insurer on your behalf to discuss this. 

Small Claims

If your claim is worth less than £10,000, then it is classed as a small claim and you will not be entitled to recover your legal fees from the supplier, even if you are successful. We offer fixed fee 30 minute initial appointments to discuss your consumer law dispute and to explain how the small claims procedure works.

Getting in touch

For more information on how we can help you resolve your consumer law dispute, please contact Petra van Dijk at our Banbury office on 01295 204159 or email pvandijk@se-law.co.uk.

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.

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