Ask H&H: refund on a faulty saddle

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Q: I bought a saddle from a franchise representative. The company has taken my deposit, delivered an incorrect order and tried to increase the price. When I refused to accept the saddle they sent me, they said they would only correct the order on condition that I paid the full amount before delivery, which I did.

The delivery was then delayed by a further month and, when I finally received my new saddle, it had a gashed seat. I have asked the company to replace it or refund the £1,350 paid. They have indicated they are not willing to do this. What can I do?
GU, London

H&H approached the company that supplied the alleged faulty goods, but they declined to comment.

Goods supplied under a consumer contract must be both fit for their purpose and of satisfactory quality.

In 2002, the law changed to provide additional remedies to a consumer who purchases faulty goods from a seller who operates as a trade or business.

These enable a buyer of defective goods to request the seller either repairs or replaces the goods or, in certain instances, reduces the price or even rescinds the contract. These remedies must be exercised by the consumer within six months of delivery of the goods in question.

When a consumer requests a repair or replacement item, this should be done within a ‘reasonable’ time, and without causing any significant inconvenience to the buyer, according to Stuart Farr of Laytons Solicitors.

“In addition, the seller must bear any reasonable costs associated with the repair or replacement including postage, labour and additional materials,” he said. “A seller can, however, seek to challenge the exercise of these rights if the overall cost would be disproportionate to the goods.

“It would be reasonable to request an interim replacement while the seller affects a repair, if, for example, the horse is a competition horse requiring to maintain its fitness and competitive standards.

“If the company is not prepared to reach a compromise, you might still have the right to reject the damaged saddle and to claim back the purchase price,” said Stuart.

Information

Laytons Solicitors, tel: 0161 834 2100 www.laytons.com

Trading Standards www.tradingstandards.gov.uk

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (16 April, ’09)

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