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Hi there, I purchased a shower enclosure which was delivered 3 weeks ago. The supplier…

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Hi there, I purchased a shower...
Hi there,

I purchased a shower enclosure from a business on ebay (they are a business) which was delivered 3 weeks ago. The supplier asked for any courier damage to be reported within 48 hours (in which case there would be free replacements for any damage), but I have only just checked the goods (after 3 weeks) and noticed some. Can I still expect a free replacement, even though I failed to check the goods within the time they asked?

Is there a statutory time limit on checking for courier damage, or can I just please myself as to when I check the goods?

Many thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: UK Law
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Answered in 2 hours by:
6/14/2010
Solicitor: Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate replied 8 years ago
Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 33,994
Experience: Award winning lawyer with over 15 years experience
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Hiya, There response is not correct in law - it might be their internal policy but no. The Sale of Goods Act covers the purchase of most things from shops, suppliers and online or mail order retailers. It also details the retailers obligations in situations where you have to return an item to them take on the basis that it is damaged or faulty – or both. One of your principle statutory rights is the expectation that the item will be of reasonable quality. This also includes fitness for purpose specified, appearance and finish, freedom from minor blemishes, safety and durability. The government's guidelines say: "Goods are of satisfactory quality if they reach the standard that a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, taking into account the price and any description." The failure of the product to meet any one of these criteria is a breach in your statutory rights, enabling you to go back to the retailer, even after some months of use. If there is an obvious fault with the item at any time within the first 6 months and it has not been caused by wear and tear or misuse, your first port of call must be the shop you bought it from. They have the responsibility to put the matter right, and should not evade this responsibility by referring you to the manufacturer in the context of a guarantee or warranty. In the first instance and if considered appropriate, the seller must offer to at least repair the goods. They must do this within reasonable time, at no additional cost to you and without causing any significant inconvenience. If any inconvenience is caused you should be given a replacement item on a ‘like for like’ basis (and not simply the cheapest and most basic model).

There has been an increase in people using a little-known European Union directive to get retailers to refund or replace faulty goods, even after the stated guarantee periods have ended. The EU rule allowing the return of goods up to two years after purchase is at odds with the returns policies adopted by most major shops. However, as this is a directive is only partially adopted by the UK, its use is a grey area. Despite this, many shops have willingly refunded items when presented with the directive and its argument, so it could potentially improve your position. EU directive in question is 1999/44/EC. The important bit is this: 'A two-year guarantee applies for the sale of all consumer goods everywhere in the EU. In some countries, this may be more, and some manufacturers also choose to offer a longer warranty period.'

The other option if you purchased the item with a credit card is to make a complaint to that company. Under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. Section 75 only works for credit cards. And it only works when you're paying for things that cost between £100 and £30,000. So you can pursue a claim here (but you can not be compensated twice). If a repair is impossible or unfeasible, you must then be offered a replacement. You will need to get the engineer to provide an expert's report should it be necessary for this matter to go to court. As such I would suggest that you go back to store and advise them that you are aware of your rights and would invite them to reconsider their position. The other option is to write to their head office and set out your position in writing (keeping a copy of any letters). Ultimately you can pursue a claim for your money back in the small claims court if they do not play ball. I hope that this helps Unless I have just asked for information please press the green ACCEPT button as I then get credit for my time, but will be happy to continue this dialogue

Thomas Judge
Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Many thanks Peter, just one clarifying question if I may!

Given that this is not a faulty goods issue, but just a transit damage issue. At what point does damage to the goods become my responsibility? Is there a time limit? As obviously, from a business's point of view, it's coceivable that damage occured after the goods were delivered and while in my posession. What protects a business from claims for damage that actually occurred by tradesmen/negligence after delivery etc. (this obviously doesn't apply in this case, but I actually have an interest in the situation `on the other side of the fence' as it were, as my daughter actually runs a mail-order business!)

Many thanks
Solicitor: Thomas Judge, Solicitor Advocate replied 8 years ago
Hiya,


It is really the word of one party against the other in truth. An early notification makes it stronger - ie if you receive the item an contact them that day to notify them of the damage - then you have a presumption case. Obviously if you wait a month on receipt before notifying anyone it was damaged in transit then your case is less strong. But there is no specific time frame.

I hope that this helps

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