The Sale of Goods Act - Probably the most helpful piece of legislation available to the ordinary consumer
This page contains details from the DTI Web Site detailing consumers rights under the Sale of Goods Act. The legislation applies specifically to Goods, but the sense of the Act gives strength to the meaning of The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. With companies trading on the web, the highlighted section on conformity with description is particularly important as there must be a reliance on correct description in the absence of any other form of product evaluation. Some of the sections are not relevant to travel, but are included as they may have implications for other sections that are.
Relevant or Related Legislation
Sale of Goods Act 1979. Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations (following 31/3/03 transposition of Directive 1999/44/EC).
Rights are to be enhanced by implementing the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations on 31 March 2003 which will give consumers a six months reversed burden of proof and a right to seek a repair, replacement, and a partial or full refund.
The Regulations transpose EC Directive 1999/44/EC on certain aspects of the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees.
· Wherever goods are bought they must "conform to contract". This means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality (i.e. not inherently faulty at the time of sale)
· If goods do not conform to contract at the time of sale a consumer can request their money back "within a reasonable time". (This is not defined and will depend on circumstances)
· For up to six years after purchase (five years from discovery in Scotland) consumers can demand damages (which a court would equate to the cost of a repair or replacement).
· At present, the onus is on consumers to prove the good did not conform to contract (e.g. was inherently faulty) and should have reasonably lasted until this point in time (i.e. perishable goods do not last for six years).