There is now a new law to help protect consumers who have a problem with the goods they buy.
The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 and Advice in the Community came into force on April 1st, and South Tyneside Council is taking the leas in promoting the new rights.
Throughout next week ( April 7th - 12th) Consumer Advice officers from Neighbourhood Services will be holding information road shows at seven libraries throughout South Tyneside.
Councillor Peter Boyack, Lead Member for Neighbourhood Services, says: "Any new law that helps consumers protect themselves is a good thing. Hopefully the new legislation will make it easier for consumers to get what they are legally entitled to."
If goods are not of a satisfactory quality, as described or fit for purpose purchasers may have rights against the retailer. In some circumstances buyers may be entitled to full refund back, or retailers may be required to repair, replace or pay compensation.
Under present legislation if a retailer will not honour these rights, it is up to consumers to prove that the goods do not meet these criterion.
Under the new regulations if a fault occurs within six months of purchase, consumers can ask for a repair to the goods, the retailer would have to show that the goods conformed to the contract. If a repair is not a practical solution to the problem it may be possible to obtain a replacement, partial or full refund.
The new regulations put an onus on the retailer to repair or replace the goods within reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer. Manufacturers guarantees are also given a legal status, which they did not have previously.
There has always been a time limit of six years in which a consumer can make a claim against a retailer this remains unchanged.
Next week's road show events take place in the following libraries:
Mon April 7th 1.30pm - 4pm Whitburn
Tue April 8th 9.30am - 12 noon Boldon Lane 1.30pm - 4pm Cleadon Park
Wed April 9th 9.30am - 12 noon Primrose
Thu April 10th 9.30am - 12 noon East Boldon
Fri April 11th 9.30am - 12 noon Hebburn
Sat April 12th 9.30am - 12noon Central Library
Consumer Advice Centres can be contacted at:
Jarrow Town Hall Wylam Street Entrance Jarrow Tel: 424 4400
Central Library Prince Georg Square South Shields Tel: 424 7898