So I cobbled together an answer (ish) from various sources.
It would seem that we might be able to proceed by demonstrating that the items:
- Don't correspond with the seller's description (e.g. the photo on the website makes the products appear better quality than they are)
- Are not of satisfactory quality
- Are not fit for purpose
I am still unsure about determining 'fit for purpose' and 'satisfactory quality' in this instance.
As a USB drive, they 'work'. You can read and write from the USB.
However, they are presented as a product designed to deliver wedding photos to a client. No professional photographer would be happy presenting these to a client, as they look so cheap and nasty.
If anybody could provide further guidance or info sources regarding this, it would be much appreciated.
Finally, it is important that we take no action that could be construed as accepting the items - e.g. passing them onto clients.
Business Buyer Rights
When your business purchases goods or services from another
business, you have similar rights to a consumer. This is the case
provided there is no contract that contradicts this.
However, while these basic rights can't be excluded from contracts
with consumers, they can be excluded from contracts between
businesses. So if you're buying goods and services from another
business, you should make sure that the terms and conditions of the
contract don't put you at a disadvantage.
Business' rights when buying goods In the case of goods, unless
otherwise stated, you are entitled to demand that your purchases:
- correspond with the seller's description
- are of satisfactory quality
- safe, in working order and free of minor defects etc
- are fit for purpose
- capable of doing what they're meant to do
Similar rights also apply if you're buying
services. You can expect services you buy from other businesses to be
- with reasonable care and skill within a reasonable time (where not
fixed by contract)
- for a reasonable charge (where not fixed by contract)
It's important to note that these rights don't just apply to
purchases. They also cover transactions such as hiring, hire purchase
and part exchange.
Protection under the Consumer Credit Act If you operate as a sole
trader - within a partnership or as an unincorporated association -
you are also protected by the Consumer Credit Act, under which you
count as an 'individual'. The Act extends consumer credit regulation
to business lending where the amount of the credit or hire agreement
is £25,000 or less.
The Act does not apply to limited companies, limited liability
partnerships or individuals of 'high net worth' (as long as this is
agreed in writing beforehand).
The 2 main remedies of a buyer in a business-to-business sale are to:
- reject the goods and get a refund of the price (or not pay the price if they haven't yet done so)
- claim damages for loss caused by the breach of contract.
The buyer will lose the right to reject the goods if they've accepted
them. The buyer might accept the goods by:
- saying they've accepted them
- behaviour such as
- using them,
- sellingt hem on, or
- keeping them for more than a reasonable time
If the goods have been accepted, the buyer will only be able to claim
IANAL in a big way, so please feel free to edit or correct this answer if needed.