It’s That Time of Year!

Author: Fidelis Law PLLC Nov 26, 2014

In recent years, it seems that Christmas decorations appear and advertised “deals” surface shortly after Labor Day, but let’s not forget the importance of pausing to reflect and give thanks. The crisp, autumn winds and beauty of colored leaves on the trees are a wonderful time to reflect on God’s majesty and blessings. Thanksgiving approaches, and on its heels, the Christmas season, which means lots of food, fellowship, and for many, shopping. From turkeys to toy trains, we will spend much this season as we prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

As many are aware, when you purchase a product at a store, you have entered into a contract with the seller. Occasionally, we purchase products that are not what we thought we purchased. From defective functions to missing or broken pieces, the goods may be of inferior quality or not operate properly. It is important to remember that the law provides protection for us as consumers. The Tennessee Uniform Commercial Code applies to contracts for the sale of “goods.” Almost all products we purchase are deemed “goods,” and protections such as warranties and other consumer rights are provided for under the Tennessee Uniform Commercial Code and Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

I remember as a boy growing up, I was excited when I received a new basketball goal one Christmas. I called my cousin, who also was a big basketball fan, and I shared with him the good news about me having a new goal for us to play on. I still remember telling him “it has a 3 year warranty!” At the time, I didn’t really know what a “warranty” was, but now, I am thankful that the law provides warranties and some goods offer them in the event something does not work properly.

Here are a few suggestions for you while shopping: First, keep your receipts on all purchases until you are comfortable with the operation of the “good.” Second, always act promptly. As soon as you discover a problem, return the item, as most stores have return periods. If the store declines to accept the return of the item, then document your contacts with the store, including who you spoke with, when you spoke with that person, and what was communicated to you. While the law does provide remedies in many situations, the best course of action is almost always to work directly with the store. In most circumstances, the seller will work with you to resolve the problem.

The holidays are fast upon us! Let us praise God for His abundant blessings, and may you enjoy a safe holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!