August 2014 Question 2

Can a consumer customer ask for a full refund after they have bought goods from us?”

In certain circumstances yes they can. A consumer can cancel a contract in line with their cancellation rights, if they have them, under the Consumer Contracts Regulations. This applies to distance and off trade premises sales, please see previous editions of Crab Insight for more details.

In addition a consumer can reject goods within a reasonable period of time from the date of purchase or delivery, if you are in breach of contract. However they will only be able to reject the goods if they have not told you that they have accepted them.

The most likely scenario is that you could be in breach of implied terms. Most implied terms in consumer contracts for goods come from the Sale of Goods Act and this means the goods must be of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose for which they are sold. These implied terms are often referred to as statutory rights and they exist whatever your policy maybe on returns. Minor defects can result in a product not being of satisfactory quality. In the case of rejection you may offer a repair or replacement but the customer does not have to accept. If the consumer has accepted the goods they are only entitled to a repair or replacement within a reasonable time.

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