You break it you pay. Is this legal?

"Lovely to look at, lovely to hold. If you break it, consider it sold". This is an popular saying we're all familiar with that's usually found in shops to alert customers of the consequences should something be broken in a shop. Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler says this is no longer the case but customers can he held liable if negligence or recklessness can be proven.

According to the Consumer Protection Act, customers have the right to inspect goods. If something is broken, the store needs to prove negligence, criminal conduct or malicious behaviour.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Parents cannot allow children to run amok in a store that has expensive breakables. To my mind, if a child breaks something this can be regarded as negligent.

Wendy Knowler, consumer journalist

Listen here to what Knowler had to say about reckless and malicious conduct as well as what some courts found when goods have been broken:


This article first appeared on 702 : You break it you pay. Is this legal?


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