Business Law

Buying From A Shop — Your Rights

A few useful facts about your legal protection as a consumer

This time of year is always tricky when dealing with shops.  I’ve recently heard one or two horror stories, and besides that, at the moment everything is cut-price, half-price or special offer, so I thought I’d just remind you of your statutory rights under Irish consumer law.

If you buy something new from a shop, you have a contract with the retailer.  If your goods are defective, the retailer has to deal with your complaint.  Don’t be fobbed off with a phone number for the manufacturer.  You have no contract with the manufacturer or supplier, and you do not have to deal with them.  The retailer sold you the product and it’s his responsibility to make it right.

The retailer is entitled to repair the goods, provided the repair is permanent, but if this fails, you’re entitled to a refund, or a replacement.

It doesn’t matter if you paid a reduced price for the thing you bought.  You have the same rights no matter what price you paid, including the right to a replacement.  Don’t let a retailer offer you the reduced price if something goes wrong.  Insist instead on a replacement.

You do not have to accept a credit note.

Under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980, anything you buy new from a retailer must be:of merchantable quality, fit for its normal purpose, and reasonably durable.

It must also be —

as described in the advertising,

as described on the wrapping

as described on any labels.

as described by the salesperson.

Notices saying No refunds or No exchanges are meaningless in law.

Ignore them.  They don’t affect your rights in any way.




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9 replies on “Buying From A Shop — Your Rights”

I didn’t know all this. Good stuff there Bock.
I always thought sale items were non returnable, as the shop signs said so.

I suppose you could always just go back to the shop with a big smelly knacker and intimidate them ’till they give you back your money.

Generally speaking the moment you quote the law they will change there attitude,Our Bus Org Teacher in school told us about this and i have being using it ever since

Its important to note that you are not entitled to a refund if you simply change your mind, although Dunnes Stores will normally change clothes in the original package with price tag if you say they don’t fit – except underwear – if you have the receipt.

Here is a useful link for the National Consumer Agency

or LoCall 1890 432 432

“Well blow me down with a feather!”
Isn’t it uncanny the way information seems to just arrive the very time you really need it.
I should have considered this but me being me of course, I didn’t.

(Readers of BOCK, do tune out of this particular comment rant if you’re bored easily; I can go on a bit at times, and please don’t suggest I get together with the Communications Regulator. They’re no different than Bertie Ahern’s other Regulator scam; the Banking Regulator)

O2, my broadband ‘provider’ of choice – (choice, my having tried most others who did fail miserably in my location over the years) – have failed for the past five days to provide any broadband signal whatever.
I’ve had as many as six ‘techies’ over four days advising me on the telephone as to what I need to do about the failure of “my’ O2 dongle.
Note, it was “I” that was the real problem in all telephone conversations with O2 techies, though they are helpful and friendly.
Anyway, off I went again today for the third day running to the O2 shop on Cruises street in Limerick city (I a had to take a day off work to get in there during their opening hours and that has cost me quite a bit, I needed to stay put until it got sorted)
“You’ll need a new dongle” she said, “and that means signing a new contract”.
“I’ll sign no contract, that move snacks of legal entrapment shite and you really don’t want me taking you in to court young lady, I’ll take your car, your wardrobe. your house, if you have one, and any cash you may have in your account.” “So”, I said to silence, “how much to buy it?”

A lot of cash, very little change out of €90 but I just wanted my signal back and the old dongle-wongly-wongle.
“The signal is down here in the shop” she said for the ninety ninth time.

“So I can’t test my new almost €90, dongle-wongly-wongle then?”

“Nothing I can do I’m afraid.”
“Would you like to talk to a techie?” she asked – cool as a breeze.

Meanwhile, as we engaged on the subject; www, many irate individuals were entering the O2 shop in Cruises street while I was attempting to have my matter sorted and all it seemed, were returning their brand new Christmas presents; their O2 dongle-wongly-wongles.

It was quite a scene I can tell you.

So moving on; almost an hour and a half had passed in there at this stage, while the feckin’ car park charges were probably rising exponentially!

Having bought the brand new dongly-wongly-wongle, another staff member approached from out back! He was the muscle in the shop I have to suppose as he was over six feet tall, and wide with it.

He was friendly.

He took all my details and promised that O2 would definitely contact me.
After the holidays.
“Well that’s just dandy, isn’t it?” I put to him.
“Tell me”, I asked, “Why have O2 failed utterly to issue a statement to the public stating the bleeding obvious”?
“I really don’t have an answer to that”, he said “But I know where you’re coming from.”
“You do?” I asked.
“The techies don’t. Each one I have spoken to has had a different procedure for me to try so that I might go awasy”.

” Tell me this”, is the word out yet as to which shower of scumbags from the selection of O2 drunken revealers at the staff Christmas party pulled the plug on their way out for the holiday season break?”
“Have they been sacked yet?”
“You guys really should be protecting your own jobs here in Cruises street. Stupidly pushing the O2 management’s give-’em-the-fools-run-around; will not help you stay off the unemployment line.”

I do believe tough that he may indeed attempt to get those tossers of half-arsed-pancake-makers who control O2 Ireland to wake up and smell the fucking anger and frustration here.

It really is a small little world.

Interesting stuff, Unstranger. I had a really bad episode a few years ago with O2 (yes, they are overcharging, incompetent dirtbags still to his day). I was very unhappy with the deal I had signed with them and their lack of service. So, I documented my encounters with their staff by covert audio recordings and a few photographs, taken with “my” O2 phone. After a few emails, without actually telling them what proof I had or how I had acquired it, but being able to quote the conversations verbatim, they surrendered.

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