As we approach Christmas, when we buy more than most other times of the year, it’s no harm to know your rights if there is a problem. The Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1981, basically means that a product you buy (or service you avail of) must be of "merchantable quality", that is, suitable for the purpose it was designed. So for example, if a fridge stops working after 14 months, DO NOT let a shop tell you that the warranty was only for 1 year! The warrantly is a manufacturer’s extra and does not affect your statutory rights. The other thing to remember is that your contract is with the shop where you bought something, not the manufacturer. Depending on how soon after purchase a fault is found, you are entitled to a repair, replacement or refund. Always keep your receipt as proof of purchase. Worth also noting at this time of year, "not liking the colour of the dress" a week after buying it does not give you any right to return it, however, many shops do have their own policy that may allow you to return an item within a period of time if it is unused! Happy retail therapy!