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Ecommerce Forum

UK product guarantees
How long after can a customer claim something is broken?

 11:08 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)


I'm wondering what the law is on product guarantees. Normally if a product on mine is faulty or breaks, then I hear within a few weeks of the order, and I'll sort it out happily.

I've just heard back from a customer just a few days short of a year from the date they ordered saying that a product is broken. How long do I have to offer a guarantee?

I don't have a manufacturers guarantee for this item.





 11:25 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am sure I read somewhere that there is no maximum time limit. I think it was worded something like an item should last a reasonable time. The probem is nobody has defined what is reasonable.
I think you will need to take into account what the item is, what it has been used for and make a judgement based on this info.


 11:31 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

No, there's no set limit - indeed, many sellers often offer a one year guarantee - but the small print then says "this does not affect your statutory rights".

The law says that the item should be fit for purpose for a reasonable time; and what's reasonable depends on what you are selling.

For example. One customer wore a pair of shoes twice; they fell apart, and the seller said they were a fashion item, not footwear as such. The seller lost.

If you sold a dining table that collapsed after a year, you'd probably still have to refund. But if the shoes fell apart after a year, I doubt it.

It depends on what you are selling, what precedent there is, common sense - and the judge's mood.

If you have to refund because the goods are shoddy, you in turn go back to your supplier and claim from him.

BTW, I am not a lawyer, etc., etc.

Corey Bryant

 6:26 pm on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

What association issued the card? If it was MasterCard / Visa, usually the limit is between 30 - 180 days. American Express is usually a bit more lenient

Chances are the customer has no merit for his / her case since 180 days has past.



 8:52 pm on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

Depends which country you are in - and your customer.

If both are in the UK, the law may well still protect the buyer; 'fit for purpose' has no fixed expiry date.

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