When purchasing an item from a supplier, the law states that it must be:
- Of satisfactory quality – Must last for a reasonable period of time that would be expected for that type of item and be free from any faults.
- Fit for purpose – Must be fit for the use described and be capable of doing what it is supposed to do.
- As described – Must match the description on the packaging or match what the seller has told you.
If the above criteria are not met, you may be entitled to make a claim. But before pursuing court action however, it is important that alternative methods of dispute resolution have been explored first. Regardless of whether the dispute is as a result of faulty goods or a disagreement over the price, the high legal costs of court action mean that such an avenue should only ever be used as a last resort.
You should attempt to resolve a supplier dispute by firstly making a complaint in writing, explaining the issue in detail using any supporting evidence to try to come to an agreement. The advantage of doing this is that there will be no additional costs and professional legal advice will not be needed at this stage. In addition, you may be able to come to an agreement which both parties find beneficial. If the issue is minor, it may be possible to try and negotiate a discount. On the other hand, if the issue is major, you may be able to ask for a refund or compensation for any pecuniary loss suffered.
Should you fail to resolve the dispute in writing, it will be necessary to seek professional legal assistance to advise you of your rights in law. At Seatons, we will assess your chances of success to advise on whether litigation is the most appropriate path to take. Our team of highly trained legal professionals have a wealth of experience in supplier disputes and provide clear, easy to understand legal advice at low sensible fees. For more information, feel free to give us a call on 01536 276300.