You are entitled to compensation if your prove a fault is inherent after six months
I bought an LG TV from Morrisons in November 2007 and it worked well until the sound broke. I got around this, but about seven months ago the TV started taking a long time to come on, only to turn itself off. Morrisons refused to repair the TV, saying if the fault was inherent then it would have shown within six months.
There are two issues to address here. First we will explain Mr Would’s rights and then turn our attention to the bizarre statement Morrisons sent him.
Under the Sale of Goods Act (SoG) people have up to six years (five in Scotland) to seek redress for inherently faulty goods.
An inherent fault is one that is deemed to have existed at the time the goods were sold. For the first six months after purchase if there is an inherent fault, the buyer does not have to prove this is the case. Instead, the retailer has to prove the fault is fair wear and tear or accidental damage.
Mr Would’s TV cost him £699 and it was four years old when the latest fault presented itself. This means he does now have to prove the fault is not caused by fair wear and tear or accidental damage. If he can then he will be entitled to a repair, replacement or pro-rata refund.
Now we will examine Morrisons’ email. The company clearly states it understands Mr Would’s rights under SoG but goes on to say: “It is generally acknowledged (latest copy of Which? confirms) that if a fault is inherent it would appear within the first six months. If the set has lasted four to five years without going wrong the fault was not apparent at the time of purchase.”
We found it odd that Which? had allegedly made such a bold statement. An inherent fault will often show up within the first six months but in some cases it can take longer; which is why people have a number of years in which to make a claim.
We contacted Which? and the consumer rights organisation told us that it had no knowledge of the statement Morrisons gave Mr Would.
Which? reiterated that if an inherent fault is proved after six months then the customer does have redress.
We also contacted Morrisons about the claims in the email and the company said it would investigate.
Mr Would will have to get the TV tested if he thinks it is worth pursuing. We advised him if his claim is proved he can claim this cost back from Morrisons but if not then he will be out of pocket.
The six-month rule is an amendment to the SoG and often misunderstood. It does not give you the right to demand a refund as many people believe. It says that if goods develop a fault within this time period the flaw will be considered inherent and not fair wear and tear or accidental damage.
If the retailer cannot prove this is not the case, it must offer a repair, replacement or pro-rata refund.
Updating your subscription status