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Success for Which? members using Sale Goods Act

A quarter of Which? members have made a claim


A quarter of Which? members have made a claim under the Sale of Goods Act with a success rate of 88%, a new Which? survey has found. 

The survey of 1,000 Which? members in September 2013 found that of those who claimed, nearly 90% were satisfied with the retailer’s settlement of their claim.  

But the survey also found that one in ten didn’t know they had to return a faulty item within a reasonable time if they wanted to get a refund.

What’s reasonable depends on the product and how obvious the fault is.

But, it’s safest to work on the basis you usually have no more than three to four weeks from when you purchase your item to reject it and get a refund.

For more information, read the Which? guide to the Sale of Goods Act.

Got a faulty product?

Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979, goods must be sold as described, of satisfactory quality and 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.

Your rights are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, so you must make any claim against the retailer. Almost a quarter of survey respondents didn’t know this.

If you buy a faulty product and it’s too late to reject it, you have the right to get it replaced or repaired. 

You can ask the retailer to do either, but they can normally choose to do whatever is cheapest. If you have a faulty product, use our template letter to ask for a faulty item to be replaced or repaired.

Proving your claim

If your claim is about a problem that arises within six months of buying a product, it’s up to the retailer to prove that the goods were of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, or as described when it sold them.

In our survey, of those that had made a claim under the Sale of Goods Act, over half had made it within six months.

Beyond six months, it’s up to you to prove that the problem was there when you received the goods – even if it has taken until now for the problem to come to light.

To get a faulty product replaced or repaired, use our step-by-step guide to find out how.

Consumer Rights Bill

Which? wants to see strong consumer laws in place to help protect consumers. That’s why Which? supports the government’s Consumer Rights Bill, published earlier this year, which includes greater rights for shoppers. 

Which? also launched our Consumer Rights website earlier this year so that consumers can learn about their rights and get the answers to their everyday consumer problems, including returning faulty goods. 

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