Breach of contract
Under the Sale of Goods Act (1979), there are strict rules that a seller/ retailer must abide by once they have entered into a contract. The goods must be as described (section 13), of satisfactory quality (section 14 ) and fit for purpose (section 14 ). Both section 13 and 14 have strict liability attached to them. The court will not investigate into the mind of the seller at the time or observe how much they tried but all they will look for is if there is a breach in the contract and if there is, the seller is liable.
Section 13 states that the goods must correspond to their sale description. This applies to both private and public transactions. As mentioned before, this section has strict liability attached to it; the court will be looking for whether there is a breach in a contract. However, the seller will have to prove that they relied on that description. Harlingdon & Leinster v Christopher Hull Fine Art is a case where the buyer did not rely on the description of the seller, but on his own knowledge and expertise. Therefore the seller could not be held liable against section 13. In Sonic’s situation, he seemed interested because of the description of the phone so he could easily prove that he did rely on the description in the advert.
Also, in Sonic’s case, he saw an advert of the phone that he purchased and he did not see the goods beforehand. However, the law of section 13 still applies which is demonstrated in the case of Grant V Knitting Mills.
On the other hand, descriptive words cannot be taken into account in section 13. There is a possibility that the court may take the words ‘high definition’ as a descriptive word so it may have to go under the subject of satisfactory quality. Ashington Piggeries V Hill is a good example where the good matched the description given but the good was contaminated which goes under the law of section 14. This case demonstrates a clear distinction of both section 13 and 14.