FAQs about Consumer Rights

Consumer Rights FAQs

I have bought a defective car.  What can I do about it?

Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 Part II Section 14, you could argue that the person or organisation that supplied you the car was in breach of contract as the vehicle was not of “satisfactory quality”.

Under Berstein v Palmerston Motors, the person or organisation that supplied the car has three chances to fix the fault with the car.  If the supplier does not comply with requests to fix the car or fails to fix the fault, and the car is indeed of unsatisfactory quality, the purchaser has a right to reject the car.  Rejecting the car will entitle you to ask for a full refund.

To reject the car, you must return it to the supplier complete with the keys and any documents associated with the car.  In addition, you should send a letter to the supplier to formalise your rejection of the car and the reason as to why you have rejected it (unsatisfactory quality).

Will I get a full refund if I reject a product?

According to Rogers v Parrish, you have six months to reject a product and get a full refund.  If you reject the car after six months, you still have a right to a refund, minus the usage of the product you have had.  So, if you are rejecting a car, you would get a refund minus the amount of mileage you have done in the car.

However, the principle of the above case operates on the basis that the fault develops after purchasing the product.  According to Clegg vs Olle Anderson, if the product was originally of unsatisfactory quality, then you have a potential right to reject the product outside of the six month period and get a full refund.

Who has to prove that the goods were faulty at the time of purchase?

Under the Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, the burden of proving that the goods were not faulty at the time of purchase is on the supplier.

This principle applies up to six months following the purchase of the goods.  After a six month period, the burden of proving that the goods were faulty at the time of purchase will be on the purchaser.

What actions do The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 outlaw?

Under these regulations, traders are prohibited from using aggressive sales practices, misleading purchasers either by omission or actions.  For example, if a door to door salesperson came to your house and demanded you to sign a contract and refused to leave until it was signed, that would be considered an example of aggressive sales practice, making the contract null and void.