The Consumer Rights Act (CRA) 2015 replaced the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and sets out to consolidate, improve and update laws around consumer protection and the rights of any consumer dealing with a business that supplies goods, services or – as is often the case with joinery – a mixture of both. Under the Consumer Rights Act, all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.
All products – whether physical or digital – must meet the following standards:
- Satisfactory quality.
- As described.
- Fit for purpose.
- Installed correctly.
For businesses that offer services (such as installation) these services must be:
- Carried out with reasonable care and skill.
- Information binding and treated as a term in the contract.
- Finished within a reasonable period, if no time limit was agreed in advance.
- Charged at a reasonable price, if a price was not agreed in advance.
It is also important to note that consumers have certain rights under CRA, including:
- The right to cancel a contract within 14 days of signing without reason.
- A clear right to demand that substandard services are redone or failing that receive a price reduction.
- A 30-day time period to return faulty goods and get a full refund.
- Consumers being entitled to some money back after one failed repair of faulty goods (or one faulty replacement) even if more than 30 days have passed.
If a customer rejects non-conforming goods within the 30-day period, they are entitled to ask for their money back. Alternatively, even after the 30-day period, they can ask for a repair or a replacement (instead of asking for a refund).
If the consumer opts for repair or replacement rather than rejection of the goods and you choose to dispute the decision the burden of proof will be on you to show that the goods do comply with the contract.
Any repair or replacement you arrange must not cause the consumer too much inconvenience and must be done within a reasonable time. What is a reasonable time will depend on the type of item needing repair, and the nature and extent of repair needed.
BWF members have access to a range of template documents including:
- Guide to Guarantees and Warranties.
- Guide to Basic Contract Law.
- Sample Terms & Conditions of Sale (consumer)
- Sample Terms & Conditions of Sale (business to business)
- Sample Letter To Be Sent When Supplying [and Installing] Goods
- Model Notice of Cancellation Clause for use with Consumer Contracts
You can find these within the Members area of the BWF website, in addition to further resources such as the BWF Guide to Running a Joinery business and our model complaints procedure.