From 17 June 2014 consumers will receive greater statutory
protection under the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 ("the Act"),
specifically, the time at which consumers acquire rights to goods
(time of supply is confirmed) and a new guarantee is added to the
existing protections offered by the Act as to the time of delivery
(guarantee as to delivery).
Time of Supply
Under the Act goods are treated as supplied at the time when
you, the consumer, acquire the right to possess the good(s).
Typically, the right to possession happens when you have paid the
supplier for the good(s).
However, the Act has a new protection for consumers, in that,
the "guarantee of acceptable quality" will apply at the time
good(s) are delivered to you. This means that consumers will be
able to claim remedies for delivery of damaged goods from the
supplier. The basic remedy available for consumers is to require
the supplier to remedy the damaged goods. A supplier can remedy
damaged goods by:
a) Repairing the goods; or
b) Replacing the goods with goods of identical type; or
c) Refunding the consumer's money back to them.
Guarantee as to Delivery
This new guarantee means that if a supplier is responsible for
delivering goods to you, you will be entitled to reject the goods
and obtain compensation from the supplier if the goods arrive
Where a supplier is responsible for delivering or arranging the
delivery of a good to you, the guarantee as to delivery provides
that the supplier must deliver the good(s) to you at the date or
within the period agreed to between you and the supplier, or if no
agreed time has been set then within a reasonable time.
If suppliers fail to comply with this guarantee you will
have the right to:
a) If the failure is of a substantial character (i.e. a lengthy
delay), reject the good(s); and
b) Obtain compensation, whether or not you have also rejected
Non-delivery of goods will definitely be a breach of substantial
character. Therefore, you as the consumer will be entitled to
reject the good(s) you purchased and seek a full replacement of the
good(s), or seek a refund of any monies paid to the supplier.
Further, if you have suffered any reasonably foreseeable
consequential losses arising from the failure to deliver or from
late delivery of the good(s) (e.g. lost business) you will also be
entitled to claim these losses from the supplier too.
And remember, when buying goods from a supplier, goods must
match their description, have no undisclosed defects, and be fit
for their normal purpose, safe, durable, of reasonable quality, and
acceptable in look and finish.