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Recent Complaints of Note
Travel and the Sale of Goods Act

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).

Current Position

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.

Key Facts

· 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).



The infamous Devil's Island - Taken over by the Monkeys



The following are subject to the transposition of the Directive 1999/44/EC via the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations on 31 March 2003:

· If the consumer chooses to request a repair or replacement, then for the first six months after purchase it will be for the retailer to prove the goods did conform to contract (e.g. were not inherently faulty)

· After six months and until the end of the six years, it is for the consumer to prove the lack of conformity.

· If repair and replacement are not possible or too costly, then the consumer can seek a partial refund, if they have had some benefit from the good, or a full refund if the fault/s have meant they have enjoyed no benefit.


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Wherever the Law ends, tyranny begins

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