Debitoor's accounting dictionary
Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SOGA)

Sale of Goods Act 1979 - what is the Sale of Goods Act?

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 is a piece of UK legislation covering consumer rights regarding a refund, replacement, or repair when it comes to faulty goods (products).

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It covers products or services bought on or before the 30th of September 2015, and has since been replaced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015

What does the Sale of Goods Act 1979 cover?

The act defines goods (products) needing to be:

  • As described - the product should match what is advertised whether it be in a catalogue, showroom, store etc
  • Fit for purpose - the product should be able to be used for its intended purpose and function fully under those conditions (e.g. a lawn mower for cutting grass)
  • Satisfactory quality- any defects the product has should be pointed out to the consumer before purchase so that they have the decision whether to buy the product as it is, or not.

How do I make a claim under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 if my product is faulty?

If you do wish to raise a complaint using the Sale of Goods Act, then you must do so with the retailer you bought the product from - not the manufacturer that makes the product itself. The Sale of Goods Act does not cover products that have been bought as a hire purchase.

If the product(s) you bought have a fault, you can return them and get a refund if the return is done within a reasonable timeframe. Although the legislation does not specify what this timeframe is, up to one month is probably a safe assumption to make.

If it is past 3-4 weeks since the date of purchase, you can instead ask for a replacement or repair. Usually it is possible to choose which one you would prefer, but it is common for the retailer to pick whichever of the two happens to be the cheapest option.

The retailer has the obligation of repairing or replacing the product within a reasonable amount of time - whilst also not causing a large amount of inconvenience. If they do not meet this obligation, then you are entitled to ask for one of two options:

  • A reduction on the price of the purchase
  • Getting your money back (minus a usage cost for however long you have had the product)

As a last resort, there could be an opportunity to have a third party repair the item, and ask for compensation for the amount from the retailer.

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