How is a product defined under the law?
A product means goods (items that are produced for sale) or electricity or even part of a product, so it includes nearly everything we buy and use in our daily lives. It also applies to digital content, including downloadable games, films and apps.
Buildings and land are not products, but materials such as bricks and cement do fall under this category.
What is a faulty product?
The law surrounding faulty goods states a product must be as described, fit for purpose, and of acceptable quality under the Consumer Rights Act 2015:
- As described: The product must match the original description, which includes any samples or models shown to you.
- Fit for purpose: The product should be fit for the purpose it was bought.
- Satisfactory quality: Products should be in full working order - not damaged or faulty when you purchase them. However, this depends on the type of goods, such as second-hand products are not expected to be the same standard as new products.
Therefore, a product is faulty if it does not meet the legitimate expectations of the person who bought it. Any warnings or instructions which accompanied the product and how the product was marketed are also factors taken into consideration
What are the Manufacturer’s responsibilities?
When you buy a product, your contract is with the Seller, not the Manufacturer. Therefore, the Retailer is responsible for rectifying any fault under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
If the Product bought included a warranty directly from the Manufacturer, subject to the terms of the Warranty, you might be entitled to expect the Manufacturer to remedy the fault.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 states that a ‘producer’ of a product (that could be a manufacturer or supplier) has a responsibility to ensure their product is safe. If a product causes damage to property, personal injury or death, then legal action can be brought against them, resulting in substantial fines and even imprisonment.