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Problem purchase

Question

I bought a printer and it broke before the end of the warranty. When I took it back to the shop they said they didn't have to do anything because I'd bought it over three months ago. The only option they gave me was to ring a premium rate technical support number, are they right?

Answer

From the information you've supplied the answer would appear to be no; they aren't right. It's quite clear that under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) it's the retailer's responsibility to replace or repair faulty goods - you could even ask for your money back.

Anything you purchase has to be of certain basic quality standards, this means the goods should:

  • match their description
  • be of satisfactory quality
  • be fit for their purpose

In your case, the printer wouldn't appear be of satisfactory quality because it doesn't meet the 'durability of the goods' test.

Under section 14 of the Sale of Goods Act if a problem arises with the goods within six months of supplying them to the client it's the trader's responsibility to show the goods were of satisfactory quality, fit for their purpose and that they match their description when they were supplied. After this date, it's the client's responsibility to prove that her/his statutory consumer rights have been breached.

So in your case, the retailer should take responsibility for the repair to your printer. In addition, you shouldn't have to pay for the call to the helpline to have your problem resolved.

If the shop refuses to pay for the repairs you may want to consider phoning your local Trading Standards Office - found at your local county or borough council ­- and ask for their help to resolve the issue.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) details what you can do if the shop refuses to refund your money. Many councils do offer a helpline, or at least a link to a helpline, so you could phone from the shop and get the trading standards advisor to speak to the manager there and then.

Updated: 29/01/2013


Question answered by CAB


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