This blog continues our four part series into changes that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“CRA”) has recently bought into effect. In this bulletin, we examine the key changes to the supply of services and how businesses should respond to these to ensure compliance.

THE SUPPLY OF SERVICES

The CRA implies the following terms in contracts for the supply of services:

  • The service must be carried out with reasonable care and skill.
  • Information said or written to the consumer is binding where the consumer relies on it, including statements made about the services themselves.
  • The service must be done for a reasonable price.
  • The service must be carried out within a reasonable time.

CONSUMER REMEDIES

The consumer is entitled to a repeat performance of the service or to a price reduction in the case of non-conformity with the above. Both of these statutory remedies are new. See our last bulletin for guidance on “who is a consumer” for the purposes of the CRA.

Repeat performance This remedy is available where the trader fails to exercise reasonable care and skill or where they breach a requirement arising from information they have given about the service. The consumer can require the trader to repeat the service in order to complete it properly. This work must be carried out at no cost to the consumer, within a reasonable time frame and without causing significant inconvenience to the consumer.

Price reduction The consumer can claim a price reduction where repeat performance:

  • Is impossible; or
  • Cannot be done within a reasonable time; and
  • Would cause significant inconvenience.

A price reduction can also be claimed where the service is not done within a reasonable time frame or where the trader breaches a requirement arising from information they have given about something other than the service itself.

The amount of the price reduction can be up to 100% of the total price and will depend on how serious the breaches are.

Click here to view table.

ACTION POINTS:

  • Businesses supplying services to consumers should familiarise themselves with the new provisions of the CRA and put training in place to educate their staff. Guidance is available on the website of the Trading Standards Institute and includes suggested point of sale wording and commonly asked questions.
  • Terms and conditions of supply should also be reviewed and amended as necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of the CRA, especially in relation to the tier of remedies available to a consumer in the event of breach. The importance of pre-contract information should also not be forgotten.