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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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We have Mail: Sale of Goods Act 1989

* mark-buchanan.jpgDear Jan,

Further to your comments in last week's leader, the Sale of Goods Act 1989 states (and is backed up by recent precedent) that a product must be 'fit for purpose' and more so in a specialised shower/bathroom environment... where the buyer - in law - has up to six years to reasonably reject the product as unfit. It is not reasonable to have any part rust inside a shower inside 15 years - let alone three years!

Solid brass chrome plated items cannot rust... but mild steel items - plated, can, if the plate is thin and fails or where corrosive cleaners have taken off the plating (as in the many law suits to 'Cillit Bang' before the manufacturer was forced to put on its bottles: "Do not use on chrome taps").

Ask yourself why all shower enclosures are made from aluminium... It's because it, as a material, cannot rust. Hence it is suitable in law!

So any shower that rusts isn't fit for purpose and needs total rejection - as it has been neither designed nor made from the right material, to be suitable in that environment.

This takes me back to 1981. I was quite expert, having been selling three years,then. A guy bought a stainless steel sink from me. A month later he complained and said he wanted it swapping as it was "going rusty" so wasn't ''merchantable quality'' (the old Sale of Goods Act phrase then used...).

I went to his house and proved to him that stainless steel cannot rust and that particles from a recent heating/cylinder project upstairs had sent iron filings through his pipes, which had settled on the sink and 'appeared to look rusty'.

A bit of 'T Cut' and the marks were gone and he was happy. A bit of detective work and some knowledge wins the day!

As we speak 35 years later... my company is having to replace a 19 month old, built-in, top-spec oven that's just started an intermittent shorting fault. The manufacturer Fagor isn't here any more to help in any way - so we have to swap it for something brand new. As the client is within the law to reject it - after up to six years of constant usage - and claim that it is 'not fit for purpose', this is exactly what he has done.

I know if we went to small claims he would win hands down and we would face all extra costs etc. He can get another company to swap the oven and he can take me to court for three times what it would cost me to resolve the issue now....so why bury my head in the sand?

I hope this info helps your reader and the dealer with their rust issues. They should reject the goods and go to court to win back the costs and expenses and get themselves into a situation where they should be, in law.

They will not lose, on current statutes, so should stand firm.


Mark Buchanan
Upstairs Downstairs (Chester) Ltd
(Kitchen & bathroom specialist, established in 1984)

5th February 2016

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