The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) is urging companies to make sure their contract terms are legal, following the implementation of the Consumer Rights Directive in the UK last June.
As a result, all companies dealing with consumers were required to change their contract terms and conditions but the GGF has learned that some companies have continued with their existing contracts, giving a seven-day ‘cooling-off’ period.
The GGF warns that this action is likely to result in a consumer being entitled to a 14-day cooling-off period from the date of delivery, because the company has not informed them as to their rights under the Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCRs).
The CCRs mean companies must inform consumers of their rights as to their cooling-off period relative to the CCRs, which can be zero days on windows made to the consumer’s specific requirements and personal choices.
This is a complicated subject, which, the GGF says, many Trading Standards officers are also struggling to understand. To help companies cope with this legislation, the GGF has published revised Model Terms and Conditions of Contract, plus Guidance on Implementation of the EU Consumer Rights Directive for both GGF members (free of charge) and non-members. These two documents are available to non-members for £75. If you wish to purchase them, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Smith, GGF Home Improvement director, stated:
“The Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCRS) were implemented in the UK on the 13th June 2014. We would stress that this is entirely separate legislation from the Consumer Rights Bill, which is now due to be implemented in October 2015. In the meantime, I would urge all companies who have not changed their contracts in line with the Consumer Rights Directive, to do so as soon as possible.”
The main issues of the CCRs are:
• The cooling-off period for goods and services sold by distance or by off-premises selling has been harmonised across the EU to 14 days from date of delivery of the products
• There are some important exemptions, one is for products ‘made to the consumer’s specification’ (this will include windows made to a consumer’s specific requirements); another is for urgent repairs and maintenance when a consumer invites a trader to their home
• There is a list of pre-contract information which must be provided to consumers before a contract is made, including advising cancellation rights and if a trader belongs to a code of conduct, for example the GGF Consumer Code of Good Practice. Failure to provide certain items will give a consumer a cooling-off period of up to 379 days, and the trader would be liable to a fine of up to £5,000