What is fit for purpose?

Fit for purpose means both the everyday purpose and any specific purpose that you agreed with the seller before buying. For example, if you specifically asked for a replacement mattress for a bed that would be compatible with your bed.

Goods sold must match a sample you were shown or any description in a brochure on or a website.

How do I claim not fit for purpose?

If your goods fail to meet any of the above criteria then you could have a claim under the Sale of Goods Act.

You make your claim against the retailer who sold you a faulty item, not the manufacturer.

To reject something and get your money back act quickly. Under the Sales of Goods Act you normally only have a few weeks.

If you paid by credit card you may be able to claim against your credit card company as well as the retailer. In this case write to both the retailer and the credit card company to ensure you have acted quickly.

How do I start a claim under the Sales or Goods Act?

Where you have tried to reach agreement with the seller and failed your next step is to prepare to issue a small claim through the small claims court.

How do I claim for returning faulty goods?

If a product turns out to be faulty you can choose to reject it. This means you can give it back and get your money back.

You have a reasonable time to do this and what is reasonable depends on the product and how obvious the fault is.

Whatever you have bought act on the basis you have no more than three to six weeks from when you received it to reject it.

If the seller will not agree to the return of the goods you should make a small claim through the small claims court.

How do I claim to get faulty goods repaired?

If it is too late for you to reject a faulty item or you would be prepared to have it repaired you have the right to get a faulty item replaced or repaired. The seller must repair or replace the goods "within a reasonable time but without causing significant inconvenience".

You can ask for either but the seller will often choose to do whatever is cheapest for them.

If the seller does not do this you can claim:

  • a reduction on the purchase price, or
  • your money back (if you have used the item an amount will be taken off the price for the usage you've had)

If the seller will not agree to the repair of the goods you should make a small claim through the small claims court.

What if the seller refuses to repair or replace my goods?

You may have the right to get someone else to repair your item if they refuse. You must give the seller the opportunity to repair or replace first. You then claim compensation from the retailer for the cost of doing this.

You have 6 years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods.

How do I prove the goods are faulty?

You need to prove that the fault was there when you bought the item and not something that is the result of normal wear and tear.

When a problem occurs within 6 months of you buying the product the retailer has to prove that the goods were of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, or as described when you were sold them.

What do I do if the goods were bought and not used for a while but are faulty?

If you have had the goods for more than 6 months it is up to you to prove that the problem was there when you received the goods.

You need to prove that the fault was not down to ordinary wear and tear or damage you caused or that the product should have lasted longer than it did.

You can provide a written report from an expert that states the goods must have been faulty and why. If you have to pay for a report keep any costs proportionate to the value of the claim. If possible use an expert you and the seller both agree has the necessary expertise or you can show has the necessary expertise.

Can I claim for goods bought on hire purchase (HP)?

The Sale of Goods Act does not apply to goods bought on hire purchase (HP).

You claim under the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973. This makes the HP company responsible for the quality of the goods supplied and gives you have different rights.

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