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Understanding Your Basic Statutory Rights

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Dec 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Understanding Statutory Rights Statutory

Quite often a consumer will see the phrase 'this does not affect your statutory rights' discreetly written on a receipt or notice in the shop. But what exactly are your statutory rights, and how do they relate to consumer rights and the law?

When a consumer purchases goods from a trader (business), then they are entering into a contract with the trader. Under this contract, in UK law, the consumer is given a set of implied rights known as their statutory rights.

The term 'statutory' basically means relating to a statute, which in turn is defined as a law enacted by a legislature. For consumers, the most important statutory rights fall under two sets of legislation - the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977. The Sale of Goods Act was later amended by the Sale & Supply of Gods Act 1994, and then again by the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.

Basic Rights

The law currently states that under these pieces of legislation, a consumer has the right to goods that are deemed to be of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and 'as described'. Satisfactory quality implies that the goods are free from any faults or manufacturing defects, safe, resilient and long-lasting, and have a satisfactory appearance and finish.

Fit for purpose entails that the goods are fit for the specific purpose for which they were made. Examples of fit for purpose include waterproof or water resistant goods. The term 'as described' means that the goods on offer should accurately concur with the description applied to them. This includes descriptions such as the size of colour of the goods.

At this point it's worth noting that when entering into a sale with an individual the only consumer right that applies in this instance is that the item is 'as described'. You should also consider that when buying second hand goods, your basic consumer rights still apply, except the law states that it is reasonable that expectation about the durability and performance of the goods should be lowered. Consumer rights also apply to goods bought in sale (stock clearance), but if the goods are on sale because of a defect, then the consumer cannot demand a refund due to that fault at a later stage.

Refunds and Complaints

In UK law, when purchasing from a shop, a consumer is not automatically entitled to a refund if they simply change their mind. Many shops will offer a refund, alternative or replacement purely as a gesture of goodwill, alongside proof of purchase. Unless stated, proof of purchase does not necessarily mean a till receipt - bank and card statements can also be used.

With shop-bought goods, a consumer cannot expect a full refund and has no grounds for complaint if they were provided with information about any faults before purchasing. It is expected that consumers should also examine their goods before making a purchase. Any faults or damage incurred by the consumer cannot be taken into consideration either.

Distance Selling

When making purchases via distance selling methods, consumers are also covered by the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. The Distance Selling Regulations bring a European Directive into UK Law. It is always worth checking whether the supplier you are purchasing from is based within the UK or EU so that you know whether your UK consumer rights will apply. Distance Selling refers to purchases made when the consumer isn't physically present to complete the contract - for instance by mail order, digital television, email or via the Internet. These regulations ensure that consumers have access to written prior information (such as final costs, contact details of the supplier, delivery arrangements and cancellation policies) before making a final purchase.

Under these regulations consumers also have what is commonly referred to as a 7 day cooling-off period. During this time consumers may examine the goods as they would in a shop, change their mind and cancel the contract. The supplier is then expected to make a full refund within 30 days of the delivery of goods or start of the provision of the service.

However, the right to cancel doesn't always apply. This includes instances where goods have been personalised or customised, are perishable (such as with fresh food and flowers), have been unsealed as in the case of CDs and DVDs, or services that have been employed for a specific time and location as with transportation or hotel bookings. In these cases it is always worth checking and keeping record of the terms and conditions of the sale.

Note the DSR has now been replaced by the Consumer Contract Regulations but most of the same principles apply.

Unfair Terms

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations (UTCCRs) seek to protect consumers against unfair standard terms in contracts made with traders that diminish common law and statutory rights. An unfair term is not considered legally binding, as it inflicts unreasonable burdens on the consumer. The definition of an unfair term is a term that "…contrary to the requirement of good faith…causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract, to the detriment of consumers"

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Hi to ever reads this - can you lend some advice. I have made a purchase to a online company for a service i did not receive. This was through pay-pal and was for the sum of £740 pounds. The company said they would give me what i ordered for within 7 days. I have not received anything and they are wanting me to pay a further £350.00 to complete the work. This was not in the original quote. I have spoken with pay-pal and have an opened a case for items not received and awaiting for the sellers response. Pay-pal tell me that even with the case open, if the seller sends something via email to me and screen shots it as proof they have while the case is open and then sends it to pay-pal as proof they sent something, that Pay-pal can close the case i will loose my money. Even if it is not what i asked for are paypal allowed to do this? even if it is not what i asked for. The company is a fraudulent company and has several negative reviews online.
Beth - 5-Dec-18 @ 11:39 PM
I bought an Idesite Fridge Freezer in-store at a local appliance shop on Monday 19/11. On the delivery day Friday 23/11, I was called an hour before delivery to say that they didn't have the Indesite Fridge Freezer in stock. However, the had upgraded me to a Hotpoint Fridge Freezer. I said this is ok as long as was the same height and colour. Once it arrived, I unpacked, reversed the doors as per instruction and plugged in.(all done in order as per instruction)Unfortunately theFridge is too loud for my open plan Kitchen living area. I called the shop and said its too loud and its actually not what I wanted or originally paid for. I explained that's its not suitable due to the noise. I have asked to exchange of for a full refund. They have said no because I have reversed the doors and plugged it in, it is now used and they will only give me 50% back if I return it. Does the fact that they changed the Fridge type over the phone, break the In-store contract and make it Distance Contract? I didn't know what I was getting and didn't know it was going to be too loud until it was plugged in.
Jay - 28-Nov-18 @ 4:22 PM
My husband and daughter went to get our small dog a coat. They went with a photo which I had provided them with. On their return, I looked at it, but it was the wrong one. They told me that they showed the girl the photo and that's what she sold them. I messaged the store, as it was now closed, and was told that for hygiene reasons it couldn't be exchanged/refunded.I messaged back stating that it had not been worn and still had the label attached. They have not replied. Whilst I was away, my husband travelled up there to speak to them in person, but they would still not exchange the same. I then messaged them again explaining I was very disappointed and that when my husband and daughter first came they showed the girl the photo, but was missold the one we have. I still have not received a reply!!!!!!I would be grateful for your help.
M.N. - 17-Nov-18 @ 8:57 AM
I purchased two security cameras and paid for installation though a company. Upon installation one of the camera's was deemed faulty and we sent this back paying for special delivery on postage as we have 1 year warranty. A new camera has been sent out and we have asked for installation and our postage back. The company have said all they can do is set up installation again but we pay this AGAIN at half the price. Is this against my statutory rights? On their website it only states they will not refund for installation services.
Jorden - 13-Nov-18 @ 6:32 PM
I bought an item of clothing in a store at £185 20 days ago. On trying on at home the item unfortunately didn’t fit. On returning to the shop with proof of purchase I was told a refund l, exchange or credit note was only available within 7 days of purchase. Therefore, I have to keep the item. Is this against my statutory rights?
Toff - 2-Nov-18 @ 5:04 PM
Hi- i ordered a specific sofa from SCS to replace part of a suite that got damaged during renovations, however i received the sofa and it was not the item i ordered - it was a completely different colour and style, i rang SCS and they apparently have to check with the manufacturer to see if they have sent the wrong item? the delivery note says the item i ordered but the item received is definitely not that one, i have asked them to collect it and they have said until it is inspected they cannot collect it without charging me £79 and cannot issue a refund either until they inspect it to make sure it is the wrong item.i did purchase it online, and through a credit agreement -i have contacted the credit provider to put a hold on the agreement whilst this is sorted.What else can i do?
mmw3105 - 29-Oct-18 @ 12:08 PM
Bought a bed Nov 17 time base replaced march 18 it had sunk in on edges, the replaced it no problem by Aug 18 this one has done the same, so we have bought a bed from somewhere else. They have collected it sent it away for inspection and we bought a new mattress as we needed to try something else (only on bed a month) they say this is why but 1st base did exactly the same. They will give new base (Which I don't want now) or they will give me £50 the base was £120 am I entitled to a refund as the product is faulty and not fit for purpose thank you
N sando - 14-Sep-18 @ 4:06 PM
I purchased a PS4 Pro bundle online from a high street toy retailer - I got the console and a game for £349.99. Had I bought the console alone from this retailer, I would have also paid £349.99. 2 weeks later, the console became faulty.I contacted Sony, but they couldn't sort the issue so I contacted the retailer. They said I could return in-store. I took it back today. They would only refund me £309 - the console minus the game, stating that the 'console was faulty, not the game'. I said that was unfair - I now have a £45 game that I can't play! But they would not budge. So I have the game, and a bad taste in my mouth. Is their behaviour legal? If I bought a dining room table and chairs and the table was damaged, I wouldn't be expected to pay for, and keep, the chairs, so why am I being made to keep this game!? I purchased this online so I know I'm protected by distance selling regulations but I'm not sure what this means in practice!
vec34 - 29-Aug-18 @ 4:12 PM
bry - Your Question:
I ordered a bulk bag 900 kilograms of pebbles each between 40 and 90 mms in size. The price included delivery. The pebbles were delivered and bag emptied in situ. Some of the pebbles were the correct size but mixed in were fragments and smaller pebbles. The retailer says their supplier apologises and has 'kindly offered' 100 kilograms of stones of the correct size. My questions are is 'who is responsible for doing the very hard work of removing all the pebbles by hand in order to sort out the correct size pebbles and set aside the fragments? Then who replaces all the stones that are good and who gets rid of the fragments? Rather than doing all this work myself could I ask under the Consumer Rights act 2015 the retailer to collect the stones and fragments and give me a full refund as they are not all 'as described' ie between 40 and 90 mm in size. Would it be a problem that 'some' of the pebbles are correct? At present the retailer says he is waiting to hear from his supplier.

Our Response:
This depends on the description of the goods. Perhaps adding larger stones will negate the need to remove the fragments in the overall scheme of things?
OnlineShoppingRights - 7-Aug-18 @ 12:23 PM
I ordered a bulk bag 900 kilograms of pebbles each between 40 and 90 mms in size. The price included delivery. The pebbles were delivered and bag emptied in situ. Some of the pebbles were the correct size but mixed in were fragments and smaller pebbles. The retailer says their supplier apologises and has 'kindly offered' 100 kilograms of stones of the correct size.My questions are is 'who is responsible for doing the very hard work ofremoving all the pebbles by hand in order to sort out the correct size pebbles and set aside the fragments? Then who replaces all the stones that are good and who gets rid of the fragments? Rather than doing all this work myselfcould I ask under the Consumer Rights act 2015 the retailer to collect the stones and fragments and give me a full refund as they are not all 'as described' ie between 40 and 90 mm in size. Would it be a problem that 'some' of the pebbles are correct? At present the retailer says he is waitingto hear from his supplier.
bry - 5-Aug-18 @ 7:49 PM
N - Your Question:
Hi there, I was just wondering and it may be a stupid question. but I placed an order on the largest online fashion website whilst they had an offer on. £30 off £175 spend. Due to sizing/unsuitability I returned £65 worth of my £185 order. But they have only refunded me £35 telling me they’ve taken the £30 discount off. Surely as I’ve paid full price for £145 of my order I should get my full amount back unless I am to send anything else back for a refund? Thanks

Our Response:
We're not sure to be honest but if the offer was £30 off a spend of £175 or more, and you return some of the items - then you haven't actually spent £175.
OnlineShoppingRights - 5-Mar-18 @ 3:53 PM
Hi there, I was just wondering and it may be a stupid question... but I placed an order on the largest online fashion website whilst they had an offer on. £30 off £175 spend. Due to sizing/unsuitability I returned £65 worth of my £185 order. But they have only refunded me £35 telling me they’ve taken the £30 discount off. Surely as I’ve paid full price for £145 of my order I should get my full amount back unless I am to send anything else back for a refund? Thanks
N - 3-Mar-18 @ 9:54 AM
Dee- Your Question:
Hello. We ordered some dresses from the Hebeos website and they arrived. Both arrived too small and one in the wrong colour. The dresses are of a really low quality and do not actually fit the product description. Hebrides have stated that we cannot return the dresses. Is this against our consumer rights?Kind regards Dee

Our Response:
The company states that they will refund if you have received an address the wrong colour. In general bespoke items are not covered by your consumer rights for online returns. If however, they are of unsatisfactory quality/faulty you should be given a refund. The small claims court is your best option.
OnlineShoppingRights - 23-Jan-18 @ 12:08 PM
Hello. We ordered some dresses from the Hebeos website and they arrived. Both arrived too small and one in the wrong colour. The dresses are of a really low quality and do not actually fit the product description. Hebrides have stated that we cannot return the dresses. Is this against our consumer rights? Kind regards Dee
Dee - 20-Jan-18 @ 8:52 AM
Vinod - Your Question:
Hi. We purchased a new build house just over 2 years ago. The kitchen has been supplied by Symphony kitchens who give 5 year guarantee. Parts of cabinets have discoloured e.g doors and we raised issue with House builder who has said it matter for Symphony kitchens to resolve as it over 2 years. Symphony kitchens have stated the issue is due to " unintentional neglect of the product" and that the matter is closed!!We have followed guidance i.e. we regularly clean and wipe the units to ensure they are kept in good condition, we do not use any chemical sprays or solution on the units, we use a hot damp cloth.Can we challange Symphony kitchens under the Statutary Rights??

Our Response:
Check the terms of the guarantee to see whether the company should be honouring the guarantee itself. In terms of your consumer rights as it's more than 6 months since purchase, you will need to get some kind of proof (from an expert) that the fault was there at the time of purchase/that the items were not of satifactory quality or fit for purpose. If the company refuses to compensate, it might be worth seeking advice on your chances of success in the small claims court for the replacement of the doors.
OnlineShoppingRights - 13-Dec-17 @ 2:05 PM
Hi... We purchased a new build house just over 2 years ago. The kitchen has been supplied by Symphony kitchens who give 5 year guarantee. Parts of cabinets have discoloured e.g doors and we raised issue with House builder who has said it matter for Symphony kitchens to resolve as it over 2 years. Symphony kitchens have stated the issue is due to " unintentional neglect of the product" and that the matter is closed!! We have followed guidance i.e. we regularly clean and wipe the units to ensure they are kept in good condition, we do not use any chemical sprays or solution on the units, we use a hot damp cloth. Can we challange Symphony kitchens under the Statutary Rights??
Vinod - 11-Dec-17 @ 2:22 PM
Hammie - Your Question:
Hi thereI was in a shop specifically to purchase a hoover which was on offer at £34.99 regular price £39.99There was a large poster displayed that stated 10% of now £34.99When I went to pay she said £39.99 I pointed to the poster and she stated the offer was over and they had not taken the poster downI purchased it as it was the one I wanted but now want to know if I could have insisted on getting it at the advertised price Would appreciate any advice Caroline

Our Response:
No they gave you the choice over whether to buy it or not. You could have tried to negotiate with the retailer, based on the misleading nature of the posters, but they're not under any obligation to sell at thelower price.
OnlineShoppingRights - 27-Nov-17 @ 2:48 PM
Hi there I was in a shop specifically to purchase a hoover which was on offer at £34.99 regular price £39.99 There was a large poster displayed that stated 10% of now £34.99 When I went to pay she said £39.99 I pointed to the poster and she stated the offer was over and they had not taken the poster down I purchased it as it was the one I wanted but now want to know if I could have insisted on getting it at the advertised price Would appreciate any advice Caroline
Hammie - 23-Nov-17 @ 9:56 PM
Jade - Your Question:
I bought some sell items online and the web site had an issue which meant some of the items came up lower then they were meant to be done free of charge. I still paid for some items and delivery and the payment was taken I have order confirmations. I was told I could only cancel my order within the next 60 mins. I have read the T&C which state that once they have taken the money they have entered a contract with me. I have now been refunded but of course the money isn't in my account just yet am I right in thinking as we were in a contract they have to honour there technical error?

Our Response:
A legal contract is only in place when offer (your order), acceptance (the retailer's acceptance) and some consideration (your money) are in place. " Acceptance" of the order isn't necessarily when your order acknowledgement (confirmation) is sent, some retailers only "accept" the order at the point of delivery. Most retailers detail this in their terms and conditions. You say the retailer in question says that once they have taken the money, they have entered into a contract...if this is the case then they should have been legally bound by it. It's made a bit more complicated that while they say they've refunded you, you haven't yet received the refund. This is more a point of contract law than of consumer rights legislation, so you may have to seek professional legal advice if you feel you want to follow it up.
OnlineShoppingRights - 7-Aug-17 @ 10:42 AM
I bought some sell items online and the web site had an issue which meant some of the items came up lower then they were meant to be done free of charge. I still paid for some items and delivery and the payment was taken I have order confirmations. I was told I could only cancel my order within the next 60 mins. I have read the T&C which state that once they have taken the money they have entered a contract with me. I have now been refunded but of course the money isn't in my account just yet am I right in thinking as we were in a contract they have to honour there technical error?
Jade - 3-Aug-17 @ 12:41 AM
rob - Your Question:
Hi,I ordered a sand pit from mother care online on the 29th june for a birthday on the 8th July,the delivery time frame was 5 days so no problem.I had not received or had any e-mail regarding delivery by the 5th july so I rang and e-mailed customer service.I rang 3 times all calls took 45 mins to answer and they could not help as they didn't have a tracking number and could only see the same as me(order pending)I e-mailed and again no help at all,no idea when I would receive my order.I requested them cancel my order by e-mail as It was to late for the birthday and I needed to buy another one and I was concerned that I would end up paying for two.they replied on the 10th July to say they would cancel the order so I thanked them by e-mail.on the 16th July my order turned up and I was duly charged,so now I have two sandpits and I have paid for two.I have contacted mother care customer services twice since to request that the money be put back in my account as It had made me overdrawn and I would incur charges.Mother care customer services have not replied.Any advice

Our Response:
Since it was an online order you have an automatic right to cancel within 14 days of receiving the items, you then have 14 to return them. The retailer should refund you within 14 days. Call their customer services number0344 875 5222. As it's Mothercare's error they should refund the cost of returning the items.
OnlineShoppingRights - 25-Jul-17 @ 12:32 PM
My wife ordered a new mobility scooter 15 days ago being told it would be delivered in 10 days but in meantime was loaed free of charge a used one. She paid in full. The loaned scooter is a great disappointment and she believes a new one will not suite. She wants to cancell the order and be refunded. The agreement says "no cancellations allowed'Is there any rights for me/she to challenge this please
Jack - 22-Jul-17 @ 12:46 PM
hi, I ordered a sand pit from mother care online on the 29th june for a birthday on the 8th July,the delivery time frame was 5 days so no problem. I had not received or had any e-mail regarding delivery by the 5th july so I rang and e-mailed customer service. I rang 3 times all calls took 45 mins to answer and they could not help as they didn't have a tracking number and could only see the same as me(order pending) I e-mailed and again no help at all,no idea when I would receive my order. I requested them cancel my order by e-mail as It was to late for the birthday and i needed to buy another one and I was concerned that I would end up paying for two. they replied on the 10th July to say they would cancel the order so I thanked them by e-mail. on the 16th July my order turned up and I was duly charged,so now I have two sandpits and I have paid for two. I have contacted mother care customer services twice since to request that the money be put back in my account as It had made me overdrawn and i would incur charges. Mother care customer services have not replied. Any advice
rob - 18-Jul-17 @ 7:42 PM
Hello, I was wondering if you could be of any help to me. I purchased a Louis Vuitton hand bag from selfridges 2 months ago, I still have the receipt, it has only been worn on ONE occasion and the plastic covering is still on the front lock. For some reason unknown to me the leather on the back side of the bag has started to bubble, it has been sent back to Louis Vuitton for two opinions and on both occasions they have stated they're not willing to take any action, no repair, no refund, no exchange, simply as they believe it's due to 'wear and tear'. Sorry but I don't believe one wear defines adequate use to blame this issue on wear and tear. I was wondering where I could go from here and if you could be of any help. Thanks
Ms.CP - 16-Jun-17 @ 7:37 PM
Hi .. i buy online a mk jetset red large cross body bag offered £30 online it was showed 8 left. After i ordered its showw 7 left. They have confirm my oder.But after the next day they have send me email the produck of out of stock and theyre giving me my full refund. I think they have lied and made a mistake online putting that amount. And now refuse to give me the product. What should i do? Thanks
Juliet - 26-May-17 @ 11:55 PM
tk - Your Question:
Refectory at our work never gives me receipt when taking card payment, I have asked them again and again but they refuse by saying that the card reader from Lloyds is incapable of printing a copy. I am sure this cannot be right, even though the machine are not printing a copy then they must give that receipt to us, because the bank must be notifying them by some means. I am very annoyed with them as I keep all my receipts to match statements. What are my legal rights on this , anyone to advise?

Our Response:
We are not sure whether it's a legal right. You can demand a VAT receiptfrom a VAT registered retailer (we think they actually have 30 days in which to provide these too). On zero VAT rated items and in non registered retailers there doesn't seem to be a legal requirement to provide a receipt.
OnlineShoppingRights - 24-May-17 @ 2:35 PM
Refectory at our work never gives me receipt when taking card payment, I have asked them again and again but they refuse by saying that the card reader from Lloyds is incapable of printing a copy.I am sure this cannot be right, even though the machine are not printing a copy then they must give that receipt to us, because the bank must be notifying them by some means.I am very annoyed with them as I keep all my receipts to match statements.What are my legal rights on this , anyone to advise?
tk - 23-May-17 @ 1:05 PM
Approached in store to ask if I wanted to take out a credit card ... not to ask if I required assistance ... approached as a hard sale for a credit card. I personally feel harassed in this instance ... is this fair sales?
Patrick - 22-Apr-17 @ 12:14 AM
Kev R - Your Question:
I purchased some Levi jeans from our local shopping centre I got them home and took the labels off but then when I tried them on they were slightly too long in the leg. I returned to the shop with the jeans and labels and till receipt only to be told I could not exchange them for a pair that did fit. Their ratonale was they were an international product and therefore could have been brought elsewhere and also the labels were removed from the jeans meaning they were not in a resalable condition. Upon looking at the receipt it says "in a resalable condition, including package and tags" no reference to the tags being attached to said jeans. I contacted their customer services who said the store was refusing to budge on this. Who is right?

Our Response:
Yes if you buy in a shop, it's up to the retailer to decide whether and how they will accept returns (unlike online purchases where you are able to return items within 14 days if you're not happy with them). You should always make yourself aware of a retailer's returns policy. It's common for retailers not to accept returns if the tags are removed. If the item was faulty you would be able to return it with justa proof of purchase.
OnlineShoppingRights - 9-Mar-17 @ 2:33 PM
I purchased some Levi jeans from our local shopping centre I got them home and took the labels off but then when I tried them on they were slightly too long in the leg. I returned to the shop with the jeans and labels and till receipt only to be told I could not exchange them for a pair that did fit. Their ratonale was they were an international product and therefore could have been brought elsewhere and also the labels were removed from the jeans meaning they were not in a resalable condition. Upon looking at the receipt it says "in a resalable condition, including package and tags" no reference to the tags being attached to said jeans. I contacted their customer services who said the store was refusing to budge on this. Who is right?
Kev R - 8-Mar-17 @ 2:10 PM
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