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Purchasing a fitted kitchen – your consumer rights

When you purchase a fitted kitchen, as with other goods and services, you have certain rights in law.

Supply and Fitting

Where the kitchen is purchased and fitted by the same business, the consumer can expect all installation work to be:

  • completed with reasonable care and skill (as measured against a person in the trade)

  • in a reasonable time (where one was not agreed in advance)

  • for a reasonable cost (where one was not agreed in advance)
  • Any goods supplied should match their description, be of satisfactory quality and fit for their intended purpose

    If there are issues with any of the above, then the consumer would usually be entitled to remedial work by the installer to resolve the problem. Further costs for any direct foreseeable losses as a result of the issues may also be appropriate, such as the cost of take-away food due to a lack of cooking facilities for an unreasonable period of time, although these would need to be kept to a minimum and clearly documented. Larger sums for inconvenience, which consumers usually call ‘compensation’, are rarely appropriate in law.

    Supply only

    If you are purchasing a supply-only kitchen (arranging your own fitting) then your rights against the supplier of the goods will not include any aspect of the installation. Legally you will still be entitled to goods that match their description, are of satisfactory quality and fit for their intended purpose. If there are any faults or defects with the goods, typical remedies might include repairs or replacements. A full refund would apply in very limited circumstances only, and would almost certainly not be available if the fitting has been completed.

    In a supply-only scenario any issues with the fitting would need to be taken up with the installer directly, not the supplier of the goods.

    In all circumstances, if there is any concern with the quality of goods or fitting, the first thing to do is make contact with the appropriate business and give them an opportunity to put the matter right.

    Guarantees

    Any guarantee you are offered as a consumer gives you additional rights and protection however it is important that you read and understand what is included. As a guarantee is effectively a separate contract, you are only entitled to that which is clearly specified in the terms and conditions. The guarantee should also usually state that your legal rights as a consumer (often referred to as “statutory rights”) are not affected.

    If you require further information and help in this area visit: www.thefurnitureombudsman.org

    25 October 2016