Birmingham City Council

Trading Standards - Frequently Asked Questions

I have bought something from a shop, which turns out to be faulty. What are my rights?

When you buy goods from a trader, they must:
- match any description given
- be of satisfactory quality. This means what a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory. The goods should work properly, be free from minor blemishes, have a reasonable appearance and finish, be safe to use and durable
- be fit for their purpose which means they should do what they are designed to do or any purpose made known to the seller

Does it make any difference if I buy from a market stall or by mail order?
No, your rights are the same as if you had bought from a shop.

Are my rights the same if I buy goods in a sale?
Yes, your rights are the same. However, remember that if goods are marked as 'seconds' or 'shop soiled' you can't expect them to be perfect.

I've changed my mind about something I've bought. Am I entitled to my money back?
If you've buy something and there is nothing wrong with it but you change your mind for whatever reason, you are not entitled to a refund. However, it is worth asking the shop whether they are willing to refund or exchange.

Does it matter if I lose my receipt?
If you are taking something back to the shop, you need proof of purchase. Normally, this is a receipt, but a credit card statement or bank statement might suffice.

Are my rights the same if I buy something privately?
No. The goods must meet any description given, but they needn't be of satisfactory quality.

I've bought something which is faulty, but the shop refuses to do anything. What can I do?
Trading Standards can advise you on your rights. They may be able to contact the shop for you. As a last resort you can take action using the Small Claims Procedure in the County Court.

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for on this website then please contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454040506.