Helen asks: My daughter purchased a second-hand pram from a local shop for £180. When we started stripping it down to clean it, we discovered that the accompanying car seat is cracked and held together with tape.
Also there is a broken clip that holds the back rest up. The owner of the shop said all prams were health and safety checked and were fit for purpose.
To me this is not so. What rights do we have to take it back and get a refund or exchange?
Joanne Lezemore, senior solicitor for Which? Legal Service, responds:
Although it must be disappointing to discover these faults, be reassured that all goods sold by a retailer – whether new or second hand – have to be of satisfactory quality and fit for their purpose.
That does not mean they should be without defect as the quality will depend upon the age and price paid. In your case I would agree that it is not of satisfactory quality for the amount your paid.
You have the right to take it back and ask for a full refund provided you have had it a short period of time (usually three to four weeks after the time of sale). If that time has gone you can ask for it to be repaired or replaced but this had to be done within a reasonable period of time and without causing significant inconvenience. If that cannot be done you can ask for a partial refund (although in this case it would still be a full refund).
It’s also worth knowing that our testing team doesn’t recommend buying a second-hand child car seat because, if they have been in crash, it will have weakened it.
I hope this helps you; please be aware that the guidance I have given is limited by the information I have and should not be treated as a substitute for taking full legal advice.
Have you had success getting a refund or exchange on second-hand goods that weren’t up to scratch? Or do you buy new to avoid these kind of difficulties?