General Interest News
The Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“the Act”) came in to force on the 1st October 2015. It will apply to contracts entered into on or after the 1st October 2015. It is a mixed bag of consolidating previous legislation into one statute and also some new law. It applies to contracts between traders/businesses and consumers, but not between businesses. This article summarises the main provisions of the Act.
Statutory Quality Standards (“SQS”) for the sale of goods
There are virtually identical SQS under the Act as previously, e.g. goods to be of a satisfactory quality, fit for purpose etc. In addition under the Act goods will need to:-
(i) Match any models seen or examined by the consumer, save where any differences are brought to the consumer’s attention before he enters the contract; and
(ii) Conform with pre-contract information.
Remedies in respect of sale of goods
The Act has changed the position on remedies for a consumer where goods are faulty. Previously a consumer had the right to reject and get a full refund provided he did so within a reasonable period of time subject to the right being lost if the goods were accepted by the consumer. Now under the Act the consumer, save for very limited exceptions (e.g. perishable goods) will have 30 days within which to reject and claim a refund.
If the right to reject is not exercised then the consumer has the right to a repair or replacement. The trader/business will only have one chance to repair/replace. If the goods are not repaired/replaced within a reasonable time or it is not possible or is unsuccessful, then the consumer has the right to a price reduction or a final right to reject.
The statutory remedies are in addition to other rights, e.g. to claim damages but obviously a consumer cannot recover twice for the same loss.
Prior to the Act, there was no specific statutory right regarding digital content. Now if any digital content supplied on or embedded in goods does not conform with the SQS under the Act, the digital content with be deemed faulty and the statutory remedies as above will be available.
Rules on Delivery
Rules on delivery have changed. Unless a business and a consumer agree a time or period for delivery before the contract is made, goods must be delivered without undue delay and within 30 days. Furthermore the goods remain at the trader’s risk until they come in to the physical possession of the consumer or the consumer’s nominated agent.
Prior to the Act, consumers had no statutory rights when services were of poor quality or defective, although there were common law remedies (e.g. damages) if the services were in breach of any expressed or implied clause that the trader would use reasonable skill and care. The Act provides as follows:-
(i) Every service contract includes a term that a trader must perform the services with reasonable skill and care. Liability can only be excluded/limited if it can be limited to the price paid by the consumer;
(ii) Pre-contract statements or information about the services will become contractual terms if they are taken into account by a consumer when he decides to enter into a contract;
(iii) If the contract price has not been paid and is not fixed, then the consumer has to pay a reasonable price. A reasonable price will be a question of fact;
(iv) If the time for performance is not fixed by the contract, the trader must perform the contract within a reasonable period of time.
Remedies for Defective Services
If (i) or (ii) above is breached then in addition to other remedies the consumer can require repeat performance at the trader’s costs unless impossible. The consumer can also seek a price reduction (which also applies to (iv) above) where repeat performance is impossible or the trader has failed to perform in conformity with the contract within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the consumer. The price reduction can be the full amount.
Terms that seek to exclude or limit a consumer’s statutory rights and remedies in respect of goods are not allowed.
All written terms must be in plain and intelligible language and legible.
Most contract terms and any notices will be subject to a fairness test. Terms that are unfair will be void and unenforceable.
Terms that relate to the amount to be paid, or define the subject matter of the contract will be exempt from the fairness test provided they are transparent and prominent.
The Act is virtually identical in this regard to pre-existing legislation. A consumer will have however a new right to require a copy of any guarantee.
Grant Shackleston, head of our Litigation Team has commented as follows:-
“The Act consolidates much of the old law, which will be helpful to us lawyers! As for the changes, traders/businesses need to be on their guard! They will need to:-
(i) Review consumer contracts and notices (including website terms) to ensure compliance with the fairness rules;
(ii) Review all advertising/additional materials provided in the run up to selling as such matters referred to therein are likely to be contractually binding;
(iii) Brief all sales staff on the new tiered remedies, reviewing cancellation and return policies in the process;
(iv) For traders in digital content, to ensure that terms and conditions of business reflect the new law;
(v) Review terms and conditions of business to ensure that they are compliant with the new tiered remedy system.”
If you are a trader or a consumer and require advice on anything relating to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or any other consumer type issue, then please contact Daven on 01775 722261 or email email@example.com or visit or attend at our offices for an appointment at 23 New Road Spalding Lincolnshire PE11 1DH.
A Career with Maples – A Young Solicitors View
Having qualified as a Solicitor in September 2003 with another firm, I joined Maples & Son as a Solicitor in April 2004.
From the start I was given responsibility evidenced by the fact that I was involved in the interviews for my secretary and the decision as to who to employ was left to me, however I was also given support and made to feel welcome.
The reason for my move to Maples was due to my intention to increase my specialism in Criminal law as on qualification I had been dividing my time between Criminal and Family Law. I have always been supported by Maples and undertook the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme in order to join the Boston and Spalding Duty Solicitor Scheme. Whilst the firm has always allowed me to pursue my specialism of Criminal work, I have been allowed the opportunity to continue to develop other areas of expertise including Licencing Law, Family and more recently Civil Litigation.
There is very much an ‘open door’ culture at Maples and so it has always been possible for me to speak to my colleagues if ever I have needed any advice or guidance. I would like to think that I have also extended that to my colleagues and obviously it is a boost to the confidence of any young Solicitor to occasionally find a more experienced colleague come to you for advice or to seek your views on a case.
Many young Solicitors find that good or high profile cases get taken away from them by the Partners but that certainly has not been the situation at Maples where on 2 occasions I have dealt with Murder cases from the start at the police station right through to the conclusion at the Crown Court. This clearly is of benefit to the client to have continuity but also to be able to develop a relationship with the Solicitor.
As my time at Maples progressed I was gradually given more responsibility so that I would not only be managing my own caseload but also acting as a supervisor to others.
The friendly atmosphere at Maples is demonstrated by the fact that as well as working here, I also spend time socially with my colleagues including having been on skiing holidays with 2 of the Partners and the then trainee solicitor.
The social side has also been evident in that I have been involved in playing 5 a side football for Maples both in a regular league and also in tournaments arranged between local Solicitors and other professionals. Maples have also arranged a number of Cricket 20/20 matches normally with a BBQ and a couple of drinks to follow.
It was therefore an honour when I was offered Partnership and I became a Partner with effect from 1st January 2009. I now look forward to enjoying many more years at the firm and would commend the firm to anybody thinking of joining.
Maples Go Green
Maples Solicitors LLP are proud to announce that they have pledged their support to “Investors in the Environment” a new, not for profit initiative that has been launched to help businesses to reduce their environmental impact and ultimately save money.
Maples are one of the 300 businesses supporting the scheme which was officially launched in Peterborough and the surrounding area on the 15th April 2010.
Maples feel passionately about the environment and hope that this will be the first of many contributions to helping the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. Ultimately this will help us reduce our overheads/costs and the savings can then be passed onto our clients so that we can maintain our very competitive fee structure.
Maples Solicitors agree Shirt Sponsorship deal
Maples Solicitors are delighted to announce they are the new Shirt Sponsors of Holbeach United Ladies Football Club.
As ever, Maples are continuing their tradition of helping local causes within the community and look forward to supporting the team throughout 2012 and into 2013.
Holbeach Ladies have been established for over 15 years and currently compete in the Fenland and District Ladies League. The team are always on the lookout for new Players, and any interested parties please feel free to contact Kay Piccaver on 01406 371668 or on 07935 155058.
Collaborative Marketing Workshop
Around a dozen delegates attended the Collaborative Marketing Workshop held at our offices on the morning of Wednesday 30th March 2011. During the course of the workshop, Andrew Goode and Lyndon Wright of Blue Dolphin Business Development provided advice on how to combine online with offline marketing to maximum profitability and also provided ten top collaborative marketing tips.
We thank Andrew and Lyndon for their presentation.
If you want to access the slides and other information provided at the workshop, then please follow the link below.
If you are interested in attending future workshops/seminars that we hold, then please either ring Laura Day on 01775 722261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maples supporting Macmillan Coffee Morning
On 29th September 2017 Maples Solicitors LLP will be hosting a coffee morning as part of Macmillan’s “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”.
Tea, coffee and cakes will be served from 10:00am until 1:00pm and all donations received will go to Macmillan Cancer Support to assist them with providing medical, emotional, practical and financial support to those facing cancer and their families.
At the same time, Maples will also be running a free Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Probate clinic so that whilst you are in the office you may take the opportunity to discuss any of these with one of the Private Client Team with no obligation to commit. You can use the time to raise any questions you may have about making a Will, who you could appoint as Executors, whether you need a Power of Attorney or how a Power of Attorney works, for example.
Maples hope to see their existing clients join them for the coffee morning and very much look forward to meeting new people- everyone is welcome!
If you would like to discuss any matters in relation to Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or any Probate related matters prior to the coffee morning then please contact one of the lawyers in our private client team:-
Or telephone the office on 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team.