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Legal advice: chair purchase doesn’t sit well

Do you refer to the Consumer Rights Act during disputes with a retailer? Here’s how we helped another member get a refund for a faulty item.

Which? member Albert bought a leather recliner chair, but he soon noticed the colour of the leather started to fade.

Albert complained to the retailer. It contacted the manufacturer, which sent him a replacement. But the new chair’s material also started to fade. The manufacturer refused to take further action, saying that the discolouration wasn’t a defect, but caused by perspiration. Albert felt he had no choice but to keep the chair.

Consumer Rights Act 2015

We advised Albert that it was unlikely the discolouration was caused by use, but he may need to consult an expert. If the issue wasn’t caused by use, Albert could argue the retailer was in breach of Section 9 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, as the item sold was not of satisfactory quality.

As the replacement that was provided became faulty, Albert could exercise his final right to reject the item to obtain a refund.

We recommended Albert set out his legal position to the retailer, without an expert report, and see what response he received. The retailer arranged to return the chair to the manufacturer, which confirmed the defect, offering a further replacement or refund.

Albert opted for a refund and the matter was resolved.

Have a legal question of your own?

Which? Legal offers affordable legal advice, over the phone and by email to help you tackle your problem or issue.  

The team of legal advisers will give you tailored information and advice on your rights and next steps, so you can handle your issue confidently.  

Which? Legal can help on a range of topics, from faulty goods and car purchase issues to landlord and tenancy issues, plus much more.

To find out how the team can help you, call Which? Legal on 0117 405 5695 or visit Which? Legal.


It would be helpful if Which? would produce information that summarises our rights under the Consumer Rights Act. There is useful information on the website but it does not print well and what’s needed is a document in pdf format.

My main problem when trying to make a claim under the CRA is being told that I must deal with the manufacturer, which is obviously wrong. If I take anything back to a shop I have printed information that makes it clear that it is the responsibility of the retailer to handle such claims.

On numerous occasions it has been suggested by contributors that Which? and retailers could jointly develop an advice leaflet that could be available in shops and on websites, summarising the rights consumers and businesses have. This could help both customers and businesses.