Latest insights from our experts
Consumer Guarantees and the Consumer Rights Act 2015
Guarantees offered to consumers now need careful thought to make sure they comply with the law. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA), in force since 1 October 2015, imposes specific obligations on traders who offer guarantees for the products they sell to consumers.
The new laws apply equally to free ‘goodwill’ guarantees and to extended warranties sold separately.
- Traders must confirm that the guarantee does not affect consumers’ statutory rights and briefly state what these rights are
- The guarantee needs to be at least as generous as the consumers’ statutory rights. Anything less will be an unfair term and will not be enforceable
- The guarantee must not give consumers the impression that rights to a refund, repair or replacement are a valuable part of the trader’s offer to them since they have statutory rights to these anyway.
- The guarantee must be communicated to the customer in clear, intelligible language stating what is covered by it, how a claim can be made and contact details for making a claim
- Third party guarantees offered by manufacturers will be treated as contractual notices and therefore subject to the fairness test imposed on all terms with consumers and could be unenforceable if unfair. Be wary of advertising poorly worded guarantees provided by third parties.
- Extended warranties which are paid for by consumers are separate contracts which are themselves subject to the rules on consumer selling. Conforming with the law when making the sale of the original product is not enough if the extended warranty is not compliant.
If you offer a guarantee for your products or services, failure to comply with the CRA can leave you unable to enforce your terms with the customer.
Our Free Website Legal Audit will include an audit of any guarantees you offer and help identify any problems. We will then give you a fee quote for any required changes.