The easy 10 step guide to your consumer rights

You aren't legally obliged to return faulty goods to the seller at your own expense. If an item is bulky and would be difficult or expensive to return, ask the seller to collect it. However, this does not apply when you complain after having accepted the goods.

8. Refund, replace or repair

If purchased goods turn out to be DOA, you can choose between a refund, a replacement or a repair. We'd always recommend opting for a refund and rebuying elsewhere. You lose the right to a refund after a few weeks; insist on a replacement if this is the case. Repair should always be your last option.

9. Defective goods

Recent legislation rules that if goods are defective then the seller has to prove that the goods were in perfect condition when sold. This applies for a period of six months after the sale. So if a fault arises within six months of purchase, it will be presumed to have existed at the time of delivery.

Goods that become defective even after the expiry of the manufacturer's warranty may still be covered by the 'satisfactory quality' requirement, particularly in respect of goods that are known to have long working lives, such as TVs or refrigerators.

10. Important caveats

The Sale of Goods Act considerably restricted the rule of Caveat Emptor, a Latin saying which means 'let the buyer beware'. Even so, you have no real grounds for complaint if you were told about a pre-existing fault or you examined the item when you bought it. Other caveats affecting your rights include delaying returning defective goods, because you're deemed to have accepted them.

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