Is the product fit for purpose? 

When you buy a product or service from a business it has to be fit for purpose – it must do what it’s supposed to.

For example, if you tell a bicycle retailer that you want bicycle for mountain biking and they sell you a road bike, then that bike is not fit for purpose and the business must put that right.

Other examples where goods or services are not fit for purpose include:
  • If you tell a car dealer that you need a car that can tow a boat, but they sell you a car that can’t;
  • If you ask for a vacuum cleaner that will vacuum pet hair, but the appliance they sell you isn’t powerful enough to do this;
  • You ask an internet provider for a service capable of having your whole family stream videos and it it’s too slow.
If this happens to you, you are entitled to go back to the business and the business has to put it right. This might include offering you a refund or a replacement. If you can’t come to an agreement with the business, you can take the matter to the Disputes Tribunal.

When you are looking to buy a product or service it’s important to be clear about what you want it to do, because the business relies on the information you give them to help you choose the right product.

Note that if you’re buying goods for business use (e.g. commercial vacuum cleaner) then the business can contract out of the Consumer Guarantees Act.

Read more about the Consumer Guarantees Act.