First letter complaining about goods supplied by another business

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What's a first letter complaining about goods supplied by another business, and when do you need it?

You should use this letter at the start of any correspondence with a supplier who has provided your business with goods that you consider to be faulty, damaged or not what you requested.

Our template covers sales of goods between two businesses. It is not appropriate for use by a consumer who wishes to complain about goods that it has bought from a business.

Sales between businesses are governed by the Sale of Goods act. (Sales by a business to a consumer fall within the remit of the Consumer Rights Act.) One of the most important conditions imposed on a supplier is that the goods they supply are 'fit for purpose'. In legal terms, this means that the goods can be used everyday, for the reasons they are intended, as well as any specific additional purpose that the seller told you they would be suitable, e.g. if a salesperson tells you that a printer will be compatible with your laptop, or that a particular paint will be appropriate to paint a radiator or a bathroom.

Goods sold must also match any samples that you were shown and any catalogue descriptions.

The only exception to this rule is if a defect or issue was specifically pointed out to you before you ordered or bought the goods. So, if you saw the goods and had the chance to notice (but didn’t) that they were not satisfactory or fit for purpose, and that this would have been reasonably obvious to most people like you, then you’d have a hard time arguing that the goods were not acceptable to you because they’re unfit for purpose or of unsatisfactory quality.