Q&A Can a seller demand I re-buy before replacing faulty goods?

Q:      My boyfriend bought me an expensive massage gun for Christmas from a well-known e-commerce platform. Shortly after Christmas it stopped working. My boyfriend phoned the online retailer and was told they could not just replace it. They wanted him to purchase another one, then send back the faulty one and then they said they would make the refund on receipt. They also said he would have to pay p&p for the replacement and purchase it at a higher price because the first one had been discounted in a sale. Surely this cannot be legal?

A:       Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, all goods and services ordered from your home (as opposed to being purchased in-store) must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. If they are faulty on delivery you are entitled to a full refund within 30 days from the date of purchase. If a fault develops within six months of the purchase date the seller must repair or replace the item, though in most cases consumers are also entitled to a full refund.

So, is it the seller or the manufacturer who is responsible for replacing the item or refunding the customer? The answer is that your contract is with the shop, whether a physical shop or an online shop. It is therefore the legal responsibility of the shop to fix, replace or refund the item.

If the item you have purchased has a separate manufacturer’s warranty, and you have registered that warranty, then you could go directly to the manufacturer if the item becomes faulty within the warranty period. This is sometimes the fastest way to resolve the issue, but you should always check with the shop first whether this is ok.

Certainly, the seller has no right to demand you make another purchase before dealing with the faulty goods. It is also arguable whether you should pay a higher price or p&p for its delivery.

This question has been answered by James Denton, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194 

James Denton

James Denton


Solicitor in our Civil Litigation team in the Oswestry and Wrexham offices.