I have been offered an exchange rather than a refund on an unsuitable purchase. What are my rights?
Our Consumer Advice Centre staff are often asked this question.
For example, if you bought a computer and were told it would work with a printer you already owned, yet it didn`t and you were offered an exchange, rather than a refund, what rights would you have?
When you buy goods from a shop, the goods should be of satisfactory quality, as describe and fit for purpose.
This means that they should do the job they are supposed to do. This is your right under the Sale of Goods Act 1979.
However you told the shop, before you bought the computer, that you wanted it for a `specific purpose`.
You made it clear that you wanted a computer that would work with your printer and gave the assistant all the details of your printer.
The assistant told you that the computer would work with your printer, therefore fulfilling that `specific purpose`.
You relied on the assistant`s knowledge and expertise and it was reasonable that you took this advice.
The assistant was wrong as the computer did not work with your printer. So, although there is nothing actually wrong with the computer, you are within your rights to ask for a refund.
Remember, you are only entitled to a refund this time because you told the assistant in advance what you needed and they advised you incorrectly.