Consumer rights to return goods under the Consumer Protection Act
The Consumer Protection Act was designed to safeguard consumer right to safe and good quality products. The Act therefore grants the consumer the right to receive goods that are of good quality, in good working order and free of any defects. In instances where the consumer feels the need to return goods, there are a number of sections under the Consumer Protection Act which provide for this. Here are the instances when goods can be returned.
If a consumer has bought goods as a result of direct marketing, then for a period of five days after receiving the goods, the consumer can return the goods, cancel the entire contract without penalty and receive a full refund. The consumer in this case bears the cost to return the goods.
Goods not seen before purchase
If a consumer has not had the opportunity to examine or inspect the actual goods received before purchase, if on delivery they find that the goods do not meet the ‘type’ or ‘quality’ they could reasonably expect from the agreement; or if the goods where made in terms of a special or ‘custom’ order, and the goods do not reasonably conform to the specifications of the order, the consumer can cancel without penalty, refuse delivery and receive a full refund. The supplier in this case will pay costs to return the goods.
Goods for a particular purpose
If a consumer informs a supplier that the goods are being bought to fulfil a particular purpose and supplier confirms that the goods will meet this particular purpose, ten days after receiving the goods, the consumer can cancel without penalty and return the goods if they are not suitable. The supplier is supposed to pay the costs to return the goods. Exceptions in this case include instances where after having been supplied to a consumer, the goods have been partially or entirely disassembled, altered, added or combined with other goods or property.
Implied warranty of quality
All goods sold to a consumer are sold with an implied warranty of quality, which cannot be contracted out of or revoked. The warranty gives the consumer the right to receive goods that are reasonably suitable for the purpose that they are intended to be used for, are of good quality, free of defects and in good working order and will be durable and usable for a reasonable period of time. If these requirements are not met, 6 months after receiving the goods, the consumer can return the goods, get the goods replaced or repaired. The only circumstances when goods cannot be returned is when the consumer was made aware of the specific defects and agreed to receive the goods in that condition.
The guidelines above should provide guidance when it comes to returning goods under the Consumer Protection Act.