Consumer Contracts Regulations
The Source would like to make our customers aware of the Consumer Rights Act and explain how consumers are protected under the act when receiving training services purchased online through our website.
The 2015 Consumer Rights Act, which can be found here, governs how goods and services should be marketed and delivered, along with what information customers must receive when they shop at a distance from the seller.
The legislation is lengthy, but here is a run-down of some of the main points that it covers:
- The Source must provide a full description of the product or service they are selling, as well as the price of the goods and how to pay for them (including delivery charges), and when the items will be delivered.
- We must also provide information on how to cancel an order and offer a cancellation form.
- All the information provided by The Source should be given in writing to the consumer once they make a purchase.
- Consumers have a right to a refund when an item fails to match the information given prior to purchase and, often more helpfully, for any reason within a minimum 14-day cooling-off period.
- The cancellation period starts the day after a consumer enters a contract for a service or receives their goods.
The Source has a responsibility to clearly tell buyers, in writing, how to cancel training and within what time frame, and whether they must pay for cancellations. To cancel training please refer to our Terms and Conditions.
Any failure to meet regulations also means that buyers have the right to a refund if their training is not delivered by an agreed date.
Note that the Consumer Contracts Regulations also cover contracted services ordered online or over the telephone - like training - this can become more complicated however we feel you are covered fully with the Terms and Conditions set out by the Source.
Several items are not covered by the Consumer Contracts Regulations, although some are covered under other regulations.
- Perishable goods such as food and flowers
- Personalised goods customised by the retailer at the buyer's request
- Newspapers, periodicals and magazines (unless they are part of a subscription)
- Audio, video or computer software that was sealed when purchased but has since been opened
- Medical products and services
- Timeframe-specific accommodation, transport or leisure services
- Hire of taxis, boats or planes
It is also worth noting that, for some purchases, the 14-day cooling-off period does not always apply.
Immediately accessible purchases - such as digital downloads - are exempt from the 14-day cooling-off period if the customer acknowledges that, by starting the download process, they are losing the right to cancel their order.
When purchasing training or services from The Source online it is worth visiting and reading all our terms and conditions which can be found by clicking the following links:
Consumer Rights Act 2015 - The detail
The Consumer Rights Act came into force on 1st October 2015, replacing three older pieces of legislation: The Sale of Goods Act 1979, the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations.
The CRA applies equally to online purchases if we are buying from retailers or professional traders.
Under the CRA, goods need to meet three key measures. They should be:
- Satisfactory: That is, of a quality that could reasonably be expected from the information available at the time of purchase and the product price.
- As described: The product must meet the description provided at the time of purchase and it should meet our expectations.
- Fit for purpose: The product must meet the purpose that it is meant to perform.
Thanks to the CRA, consumers have clear timeframes to work with if something goes wrong or you are unhappy with the goods and services received:
- Within 30 days of purchase, you can request full refunds for physical goods if they are not up to the expected standards or you can request partial refunds or repairs
- Within 30 days of purchase, you can ask the retailer of a digital product to fix a problem before you are entitled to ask for a refund
- Within six months of purchase, you can ask for a faulty product to be replaced/repaired then, if that does not fit the issue, you can request a refund
- Within six years of purchase, you can claim a refund/repair/replacement if you can prove a fault was there at the point of purchase
Know your fraud rights
It is an unfortunate fact that not all online shopping experiences are going to be positive, and you may well fall prey to fraudsters or scammers at some point.
If your debit or credit cards are used fraudulently online and you are not at fault, you should be refunded the full amount of the purchase.
However, if the cardholder has been negligent (e.g. giving their details away or leaving themselves open to fraud), your bank or lender may argue that you the customer is liable for the debt.
Five ways to shop safely online
The best protection against bad online retail experiences and online fraud is to take as much care as possible to keep safe in the first place.
Here are our top tips:
- Shop on trusted pages: Look for sites that have a clear returns policy already in place and that goes to an encrypted page (usually a padlock icon on the top left or bottom right hand of the site.
- Read and reread product descriptions: Many disputes with retailers can be avoided or resolved more quickly if you know exactly what you are buying in the first place.
- Suspicious? Check reviews online: News about dodgy retailers travels fast online. Do not believe everything but do check out retailers that seem suspicious.
- Check how payment providers help with problems: We've seen that credit card users get statutory assistance from their card provider for some purchases, and they can also choose additional insurance as well. Anyone who is not sure whether they have additional protection should check with their card provider. Remember that third-party payment providers, such as PayPal, may be able to help too.
- Returns should be sooner rather than later: Once someone has decided to return a product, it is helpful for all parties to do so within the time limits set out in law. For online purchases stick to the 14-day return and refund time frame set out in the Consumer Contracts Regulations. In addition, many of the points in the Consumer Rights Act are easier to argue the sooner the fault is reported.
For any queries about your consumer rights and The Source, please contact us.