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Are you up to speed with Consumer Rights Act 2015?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 comes into force in October this year and affects every business selling goods or services. It ushers in clearer responsibilities for traders and more straightforward remedies for consumers.

The good news is that there won’t be a huge difference in the service you are expected to provide. As a minimum, you must work to the same standard as any reasonably competent person in your trade does. The law does not imply that any particular result will be achieved but many contracts will have express terms as to what result the customer can expect from a specific service.

What is new in the Consumer Rights Act is known as the ‘right to a repeat performance’. In most cases this will apply to a trader who does a poor job, for example a poor building job on an extension. The customer will now have a legal right to ask the trader to do the job again to achieve the desired result outlined in the contract. Clearly, this would not be possible in all trade sectors if a complaint occurred so in such circumstances the consumer could claim a price reduction - the amount would depend on the seriousness of the complaint but they could in theory claim up to 100%.

It’s also important that you make it very clear in your estimates, quotes and terms and conditions if the particular service you are providing, pest control is a good example, may require repeat visits to achieve what the customer has asked for.

Also outgoing is the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations with the new law incorporating a ‘fairness test’. Basically this means that any terms and conditions you use must not be heavily weighted against the customer, must be written in plain English and be ‘prominent’ meaning that you must bring them to the attention of your customer so that they understand what’s expected of both parties under the contract.

By far the best way to get up to speed in full is to visit http://www.businesscompanion.info/en/news-and-updates/consumer-rights-act and use the easy to follow modules that guide you through the new rules.

Get more guidance on the Consumer Rights Act here

Tags: New legislation

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