Your Rights In Respect of Faulty Goods

When you purchase an item from a shop you have certain legal rights should the item you purchase be faulty. The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act, 1980 provides protection to a person who has a complaint with regard to an item which they have purchased for their own use from a business. These rights have been further enhanced by the Consumer Protection Act 2007.

What are the Minimum Requirements?

When you purchase an item you enter into a contract with the retailer. If the item you purchase turns out to be faulty, the retailer, not the manufacturer, is responsible to you and must resolve your complaint. The law provides that the item must be of a certain minimum standard of quality unless the defect has been specifically brought to your attention. The item must be fit for the purpose intended. It must correspond with the description on the packaging, be of the measurements as stated and correspond with the quantity as described.

Items which are purchased during a sale have the same level of protection as those paid for at the full price.

What to do when problems arise

 If the item is faulty there are certain steps you can take to have the situation rectified. You should immediately contact the retailer and return the goods promptly. Do not attempt to repair the item or arrange for anyone else to repair it. When returning the item you will need to produce proof of purchase.

If you were informed of the defect prior to purchasing the item or if you examined the good and should have seen the defect then in such circumstances you will have no grounds for returning the item. Similarly if you misused or damaged the item, changed your mind or bought the item knowing that it was unlikely to do what you had intended then in such circumstances you will have no recourse.

If a retailer advertises that if an item purchased from them is faulty that they will issue a refund or replacement and states that this offer is unique to them when in fact the terms are laid down in legislation, the Consumer Protection Act 2007 states that this is deemed to be a prohibited practice as you are entitled to this remedy under the Sale of Goods & Supply of Services Act.  The 2007 Act provides that a notice may be served on the retailer notifying them of the breach and requesting that they comply with the legislation.

What remedies are available?

Where the item is deemed to be faulty the retailer may offer a repair, refund or replacement. It is at the retailer’s discretion as to which form of redress they offer. However, if a repair is offered and accepted, then it should be permanent. If the same fault occurs again, then you are entitled to seek refund or replacement.

The legislation is now over 30 years old and the Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment is considering a review of this Act.

 This information is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this publication. No liability is accepted by Hammond Good, Solicitors for any action taken in reliance on the information contained therein. Any and all information is subject to change. For further information on the subject, please contact the author, Joyce A. Good Hammond, at