2 The SOGA quick quiz will help you to check how much you know about the Sale of Goods Act (SOGA) and what the law says about customers returning goods and asking for refunds, repairs or replacement items.There are 10 questions, and for each question you have a choice of answers, but only one of them is correct.Print a copy of the quiz and tick the answers that you think are correct. You can then check your answers using the results sheet at the end of the quiz. If you are unsure about any of the answers, a brief explanation of each answer is provided in Results explained, which you can find after the results.Have you got the SOGA factor? Take the quick quiz and find out…To ensure the SOGA quick quiz is easy to read and use, some matters are simplified. For this reason none of the information should be taken as legally authoritative. This resource is intended for retail businesses that sell goods to consumers; it is not intended for businesses selling goods to other businesses.Remember this quiz is based on what the law says (your own customer policy may be more generous than the law).
3 1. Mr Leaky-at-the-seams A customer wants to return an all-weather tent he bought from us two years ago. He says although the tent kept him dry the first time he used it last summer, this summer when he used the tent it began to let in rain at the seams. He says he’s entitled to return the tent to us as there is a waterproof label on the packaging. But it is two years since he bought the tent from us – do I have to do anything?Yes, say you’re sorry about the leaking tent and that you will send it back to the manufacturers and let him know the outcome.If Mr Leaky-at-the-seams tent proved waterproof when he first used it, then you are not responsible for giving him a replacement or a refund.You need to consider if two years is a reasonable time to expect a tent to last given the limited use. If so, you need to consider what Mr Leaky-at-the-seams is entitled to as his tent is not as described on the packaging or of satisfactory quality.
4 2. Mr FrostyAfter buying a hairdryer from our store recently, a customer returned it saying it had fused when he had used it to speed up the process of defrosting his fridge and water dripped into the motor. He is asking us to repair or replace it. Can he be right?Yes, Mr Frosty bought the hairdryer from you only two months ago and it is obviously faulty. You will have to offer Mr Frosty a repair or give him a replacement or full refund.A hairdryer is sold for drying hair and not defrosting fridges. Unfortunately it appears Mr Frosty misused the product and he is not entitled to a repair or replacement.The hairdryer worked when he left the store so, no, Mr Frosty is not entitled to a repair or replacement.
5 3. Mr BookwormA customer ordered a rare book from our online store but we were unable to get hold of it for six weeks. As soon as it came into stock, we sent it out to him but he has returned it saying he had sourced the book elsewhere. He is asking for a full refund. What is he entitled to?As he ordered the book online, the Distance Selling Regulations apply and Mr Bookworm is entitled to a full refund as you were unable to fulfil his order within 30 days.Mr Bookworm didn’t specify a delivery date and so he is not entitled to compensation.Tell Mr Bookworm that rare books are obviously more difficult to source and that you sent it to him in a reasonable time so he’s not entitled to a refund.
6 4. Miss MojitoA lady returned a cocktail dress she had bought from us the day before, saying the stitching had come undone on the skirt seam, which she hadn’t noticed when she tried it on in the shop. She has lost her receipt but has brought in her bank statement, showing the purchase date. Is this enough proof to entitle her to a full refund?No, you are entitled to ask Miss Mojito for a receipt from your shop to prove she purchased the item from you.As she tried the dress on in the shop, Miss Mojito should have noticed the hole in the seam. You could offer her a partial refund as a goodwill gesture.You must accept Miss Mojito’s bank statement if it proves that the faulty purchase was from you. She is entitled to receive the full refund she is requesting.
7 5. Mrs ClumsyA lady bought a porcelain casserole dish from us, which we packed carefully for her to carry home. She returned it asking for a replacement as she had accidentally knocked it during unpacking and had cracked the dish. Is she right to ask for a replacement?Yes, she is entitled to a full refund as Mrs Clumsy offered you her receipt and brought back the cracked dish promptly.Mrs Clumsy had the casserole dish only one day and may be entitled to a repair or replacement.It’s unfortunate that Mrs Clumsy knocked the dish but as she damaged the goods herself, she’s not entitled to a replacement or a refund.
8 6. Mr SoundA customer bought a set of speakers for his hi-fi, which he has returned saying they don’t connect to his system. He says he was assured by our Sales Assistant that the speakers would connect with any system.The packaging makes it clear which brands the speakers are compatible with and, although his brand of system isn’t listed, he is asking for a refund because he says one of our staff said the speakers would work with his hi-fi. Is that right?If your sales assistant told Mr Sound the speakers would work with his hi-fi system then Mr Sound is entitled to return the speakers as they are not suitable for the purpose he specified.Mr Sound is entitled to a credit-note to buy something else in your store.No, Mr Sound shouldn’t have taken the sales assistant’s word for it; he should have referred to the literature and bought speakers that were labelled compatible. He is not entitled to a refund or replacement.
9 7. Mr Out of WarrantyA customer has complained that the digital TV recorder he bought from us 18 months ago has broken down and he would like us to repair it. His one year guarantee has run out, so surely this has nothing to do with us?Mr Out of Warranty should have taken out an extended warranty at the time of purchase to cover the repair.As the retailer, you must consider claims for faulty goods for up to six years after purchase (five years in Scotland). You must consider whether the recorder is of satisfactory quality and if not, repair it.You’re right; Mr Out of Warranty’s complaint is with the manufacturer of the equipment. You should refer him to them to repair the fault.
10 8. Mr MusicA customer who bought a CD from our online music shop has returned it for a refund. He says he bought it as a gift and has now found out that his girlfriend already has the album. He cancelled the order within 7 days of receiving it and sent it back but the wrapping has obviously been opened. Is he entitled to a refund?Yes, customers buying online have extra rights and Mr Music sent back the CD within the time-frame so you should give him a refund.The fact that Mr Music’s girlfriend already had the CD isn’t your problem. Changing his mind doesn’t entitle him to a refund.No, Mr Music opened the CD packaging and therefore the cancellation rights in the Distance Selling Regulations don't apply.
11 9. Mr TellyIn our recent sale, a customer bought a television with 35% off its original price. He is complaining that the television has gone on the blink just three months after he bought it. He wants us to repair or replace it but we don’t have any more of these sale items left. What do we have to do in this instance?Mr Telly must have known that the television wouldn’t be without flaws as it was discounted by 35% - so it’s a case of buyer beware.Your customer must prove that the television was flawed before he left your store. He accepted the television at the time of purchase so it’s up to him to get it repaired.Customers have the same rights with sale items as with non-sale items. Although, Mr Telly bought the television in the sale with a 35% discount, he has the same rights if the item is faulty. Therefore, you should repair or replace the television.
12 10. Mrs FaultyA lady returned a handbag to us because it had a faulty strap. It had been a gift from her daughter who had made the original purchase. We had given her a gift receipt but shouldn’t it be the daughter who gets the refund?Yes, you sold the bag to Mrs Faulty’s daughter so she is the one who should return the faulty bag.By giving a gift receipt, you may have implied or agreed that the person receiving the gift could obtain the refund. You have to deal with Mrs Faulty’s return.You should deal with Mrs Faulty’s bag as an act of goodwill.
13 ResultsCheck your answers against the list of correct answers below to see how you scored.1. c2. b3. a4. c5. c6. a7. b8. c9. c10. bFor a detailed explanation of the Sale of Goods Act,see SOGA explained at
14 Results explainedThe following is designed to provide you with a little more information about each answer. For a detailed explanation of the Sale of Goods Act see SOGA explained atAlthough the law says a customer can approach you with a claim up to six years from the date of sale, it does not mean that everything you sell has to last six years. See SOGA explained, When can a customer claim a refund, repair or replacement – what the law says, Customers’ rights last for 6 years. You will need to assess whether or not the tent Mr Leaky-at-the-seams bought matched its description and was of satisfactory quality, since it has leaked in its second year of use. See SOGA explained, Your contract with the customer. Mr Leaky-at-the-seams could be entitled to a repair or replacement, or failing this, a price reduction or partial refund taking into account the use he’s had from the tent so far. See SOGA explained, Faulty goods – your customers’ rights, Faulty goods that have been accepted.The fault was evidently caused by Mr Frosty's misuse of the hairdryer by trying to defrost his fridge with it and exposing it to water. He therefore does not have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement. See SOGA explained, Circumstances when customers do not have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement.
15 Mr Bookworm has additional rights under the Distance Selling Regulations as he purchased the book from you online. He can claim a full refund as you did not deliver the book within 30 days of his order. See SOGA explained, Your customers’ rights when they buy goods online, by telephone or by mail order, Additional rights. For more detail on Distance Selling Regulations, visit:Customers returning goods are responsible for proving that the item was bought from you, although it doesn’t have to be with a sales receipt. Miss Mojito had lost her receipt but provided you with other evidence in the form of a bank statement, demonstrating that she had purchased the dress from you. You must accept this. See SOGA explained, Proving the item was purchased from you.If a customer accidentally damages the goods themself they are not entitled to a refund, repair or replacement under the Sale of Goods Act. See SOGA explained, When can a customer claim a refund, repair or replacement – what the law says, Circumstances when customers do not have a legal right to a refund, repair or replacement.As Mr Sound specified a particular purpose for the speakers and was wrongly told that they were suitable by one of your sales team, even though the packaging was clearly labelled, Mr Sound is entitled to bring the speakers back for a refund. See SOGA explained, Your responsibilities as a retailer, Your contract with the customer.
16 A guarantee does not replace or limit a customer’s rights A guarantee does not replace or limit a customer’s rights. The law says that a customer can approach you with a claim about an item they purchased from you for up to six years from the date of sale (five years after the discovery of the fault in Scotland), regardless of the terms of the guarantee. If Mr Out of Warranty is complaining that the TV recorder is faulty, then you must deal with his complaint. See SOGA explained, Guarantees/warranties, retailer policies and credit notes, Guarantees/warranties.Although customers who buy goods online have additional rights under Distance Selling Regulations, some items cannot be returned just because the customer changed his mind. In the case of Mr Music, he changed his mind after opening the CD and is therefore not entitled to cancel his order and return it for a refund. See SOGA explained, Your customers’ rights when they buy goods online, by telephone or by mail order, Additional rights. For more detail on Distance Selling Regulations, visit:Customers have exactly the same rights under the Sale of Goods Act when they buy items in the sale as when they buy them at full price, so Mr Telly has the right to ask you to deal with his problem television. See SOGA explained, Your customers’ rights on sale items.
17 By issuing a gift receipt your action has suggested that Mrs Faulty obtains rights under the Sale of Goods Act. See SOGA explained, Faulty Goods – Your Customers’ rights, When someone wishes to return an item they did not buy originally.For a detailed explanation of the Sale of Goods Act, see SOGA explained at