Shopping season is upon us! With the festive season approaching and the annual “Black Friday” around the corner. South African consumers should be aware of their rights when purchasing defective goods. “Black Friday” is commonly known for bulk purchases of appliances, furniture, and all other discounted goods, at big retail companies causing consumers to incur great expenses. Many consumers have experienced the disappointment of discovering the purchased item to be broken or defective.
Most stores have a return policy that consumers can refer to when encountering defective goods. The Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 (hereafter referred to as the “CPA”) provides certain remedies. Section 55 of the CPA makes provision for the consumer’s right to purchase safe and good quality goods. The goods need to be reasonably suitable for the intended useful purpose and be free of any defects. Should the purchased goods not satisfy the standards and requirements as mentioned in Section 55 above, Section 56 (1) of the CPA further provides for the implied warranty of the purchased goods and states that within 6 months after delivery of the goods, and free from any penalty, the store must give the consumer the option to either repair or replace the defective item, alternatively provide a full refund to the consumer for the defective item. Section 61 of the CPA further provides for instances where the store can be held liable for damages caused by the defective goods and provides for the relevant alternative dispute resolution mechanism for the enforcement of rights available to the consumer.
It is crucial for the consumer to understand the rights available to them under the CPA and how to enforce such rights. It is further very important for the consumer to seek legal assistance, especially when the purchase of defective goods lead to severe financial loss for the consumer.
If ever you are faced with the purchase of broken or defective goods, do not hesitate to contact us for legal assistance herein.