Virtually every day, Americans buy, sell, and/or consume products – cars, trucks, SUVs, foods, computers, cell phones, clothes, gas, and more. Most transactions go smoothly, but some do not. When consumers, businesses, or buyers do not receive the benefit of the bargain, the law provides them with remedies. The law of contracts, the Uniform Commercial Code, and warranties typically apply to commercial or business-to-business disputes. Other federal and state laws, such as the Consumer Protection Act, generally apply to transactions involving consumers.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) covers the sale of products as well as warranties, or a seller’s representations of his or her products. The UCC addresses both express warranties and implied warranties. Generally, the UCC states that sellers can provide buyers and consumers with express warranties when they make factual affirmative statements and promises about the products they are selling and accurately describe said products. Not all express warranties are written; some express warranties are oral. Moreover, not all express warranties contain the word “guarantee” or “warranty.”
Under the Uniform Commercial Code, there generally is an implied warranty of merchantability and an implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose. An implied warranty of merchantability means that the products are merchantable; they are of similar quality and typical of the type of products sold in the marketplace. An implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose arises when buyers inform sellers of the particular purpose for which they are buying a particular product and the seller says that the product will perform that particular purpose. In addition, the purchasers must show that they were relying on the sellers of said product in order to obtain said product and to determine whether said product indeed fits the specific, singular purpose for which the purchasers need said product.
Know this: Sellers often try to disclaim or avoid warranties, and they may try to sell a product “as is.” The facts regarding the sale and the seller’s statements are important.
When consumers buy products or services, they have substantial rights and remedies under the Consumer Protection Act. If a seller says that their products or services have uses, benefits, or characteristics that they do not have and if the consumer can prove that the seller’s statements are false, the law gives the consumer powerful remedies: treble damages, requirements that the seller pays the consumer’s attorney’s fees, and more.
If you bought a product or service and did not receive the benefit of the bargain or did not receive what the seller told you it was, do not fret. You have rights and legal remedies under the Uniform Commercial Code, the Consumer Protection Act, and other laws. For more information, contact Nashville Attorney Perry A. Craft.