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Apr 11, 2005
I purchased an L.C.D. TV for my lad on november the 12th as a crimbo pressie. On setting the thing up on chritmas day, whenever you plugged a dvd player or his Xbox into the scart 1 ,the main picture started jumping all over the place. T.B.H I was not impressed with the tv and because it had this fault I e.mailed the company to arrange for a courier to pick it up because I wanted a full refund. The reply came back rather swiftly that they could not give me a refund as the tv was outside the 28 money back termas and conditions and the unit was to old.
Not to bore you with all the details, I have sent it back at my own cost,and after several E.Mails, they are taking the stance that they will get an engineer to fix it and that I am not intitled to a refund. I have read up on this and I should be covered by the sale and supply of goods act which states that an item should be fit for the pupose it was intended for and that if the item was faulty As long as its within reasonable time I should either get a replacement or a full refund.
The thing is are they just trying to pull a fast one? If I took them to court would the fact that in buying the item I would have accepted there terms and conditions? On my receipt E.Mail there is a link that links me to there terms and conditions page but nowhere else does it state that I had only 28 days to return it? Any help would be great especially anyone who has had a similar experience.


Dec 8, 2003
Das Kraftwerk
if you bought it on a credit card, you should be able to attempt to claim the money back through your bank/card company as well, often a good back-up when you're met with a crappy retailer.

Crabby Shrimper

Nov 18, 2003
The 28 days refers to the time given in which you may return the goods (as long as they're fit for resale/unopened and unused) because you've changed your mind over the purchase. If an item doesn't work as advertised, then you have longer (a year I believe for electrical goods).

I could be wrong on this however, and would advise seeking expert opinion. Unfortunately the sale of goods act isnt as customer friendly as the majority believe it to be

Aberdeen Shrimper

Under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 traders must sell goods that are as described and of satisfactory quality.

If consumers discover that products do not meet these requirements they can reject them and ask for their money back providing they do so quickly. Alternatively, they can request a repair or replacement or claim compensation.

The Sale of Goods Act has been amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 which transpose a European Directive. Although the impact of the Regulations is relatively modest there are some useful benefits for consumers.

Aberdeen Shrimper

do any of these help mate

Q1. What is an inherent fault?

A fault present at the time of purchase. Examples are:
• an error in design so that a product is manufactured incorrectly
• an error in manufacturing where a faulty component was inserted.
The "fault" may not become apparent immediately but it was there at the time of sale and so the product was not of satisfactory standard.

Q2. Do I only have rights for 30 (or some other figure) days after purchase?

No. Depending on circumstances, you might be too late to have all your money back after this time, but the trader will still be liable for any breaches of contract, such as the goods being faulty. In fact, the trader could be liable to compensate you for up to six years.

Q3. Are all goods supposed to last six (or five) years?

No, that is the limit for bringing a court case in England and Wales (five years from the time of discovery in Scotland's case). An item only needs to last as long as it is reasonable to expect it to, taking into account all the factors. An oil filter would usually not last longer than a year but that would not mean it was unsatisfactory.

Q4. I know I can demand my money back within a "reasonable time" but how long is that?

The law does not specify a precise time as it will vary for most sales contracts as all the factors need to be taken into account to be fair to all sides. The pair of everyday shoes may only have a few days before the period expires but a pair of skis, purchased in a Summer Sale, may be allowed a longer period by a court.

Q5. After the "reasonable time" has passed, what can I do?

You may seek damages, which would be the amount of money necessary to have the goods repaired or replaced. Frequently retailers will themselves offer repair or replacement. But, if you are a consumer (not making the purchase in the course of a business) you have the statutory right to seek a repair or replacement as an alternative to seeking damages.

Q6. Is it true that I have to complain to the manufacturer?

No. You bought the goods from the trader, not the manufacturer, and the trader is liable for any breaches of contract (unless he was acting as the manufacturer's agent).

Q7. Do I have to produce a receipt to claim my rights?

No. In fact the trader doesn't have to give you a receipt in the first place so it would be unfair to say that you had to produce one. However, it might not be unreasonable for the shop to want some proof of purchase, so look to see if you have a cheque stub, bank statement, credit card slip etc., and this should be sufficient.

Q8. Can I claim a refund on sale items?

It depends on why you want to return them. The Sale of Goods Act still applies, but you are not entitled to a refund if you were told of the faults before purchase, or if the fault should have been obvious to you. Also, you are not entitled to a refund if you simply change your mind about liking the goods.

Q9. Must I accept a credit note instead of a refund?

It depends on why you want to return the goods.

• If you have changed your mind, then the shop doesn't have to do anything.

• But if the goods are faulty, incorrectly described or not fit for purpose, then you are entitled to your money back (provided you act quickly), and you certainly don't have to take a credit note

• If you do accept a credit note in these circumstances, watch out, as there may be restrictions on their use.

• If the shop displays a sign stating they only give credit notes instead of refunds, they might be breaking the law and you could report them to Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06. Consumers in Northern Ireland should contact Consumer Line on 0845 600 6262.

Q10. What can I do to claim damages or if the retailer will not honour my rights?

The Small Claims Court procedure provides the means to bring a claim, for up to £5000 (in England and Wales), at modest cost and without the need for a solicitor. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can advise on how to make a claim.

Q11. The retailer has said that a repair is "disproportionately costly" and insists I accept a replacement as an alternative. Must I accept this?

Yes, and vice versa if you request a replacement and this is "disproportionately costly". However, remember any remedy has to be carried out "without significant inconvenience" and within a "reasonable time" for the consumer. Remember that you could also seek damages instead.

Q12. Neither repair nor replacement of the goods are possible. What can I do?

You may either pursue the old route of damages or a partial or full refund. Probably either would give you exactly the same amount of money. You would seek a full refund in scenarios such as those where you had enjoyed absolutely no benefit from the goods. If you had benefited from them then you would seek a partial refund as a fair remedy. This is exactly the reasoning that would be employed if you sought damages.

Q13. What does the "reversed burden of proof" mean for the consumer?

It means that for the first six months the consumer need not produce any evidence that a product was inherently faulty at the time of sale. If a consumer is seeking any other remedy the burden of proof remains with him/her.

In such a case, the retailer will either accept there was an inherent fault, and will offer a remedy, or he will dispute that it was inherently flawed. If the latter, when he inspects the product to analyse the cause, he may, for example, point out impact damage or stains that would be consistent with it having been mistreated in such a way as to bring about the fault.

This reversal of the usual burden of proof only applies when the consumer is seeking a repair or replacement. After the first six months the onus of proof is again on the consumer.

Q14. Where can I get further advice?

Aberdeen Shrimper

Answer to Question 14.

Contact Consumer Direct at: www.consumerdirect.gov.uk (Tel: 08454 04 05 06). Consumers in Northern Ireland should contact Consumer Line on 0845 600 6262.