23 May 2008
A new law, being lodged in the States today, improves the level of protection available to Jersey consumers. Currently, the Jersey consumer does not have ‘statutory rights’ as the consumer does in the UK. If passed by the States, the Supply of Goods and Services law will set out the full extent of such statutory rights and provide a clear framework for the benefit of both consumers and traders.
Proposing the law, Senator Philip Ozouf, Economic Development Minister, stated ‘From a consumer protection point of view, this law introduces long awaited statutory rights for consumers similar to those found in the UK Sale of Goods Act. This will ensure clarity and reasonable certainty for both traders and consumers in day to day contractual dealings when buying and selling goods and services.’
An extensive consultation process was held last summer, with interested parties invited to comment on the draft law.
The main effect of the draft law is to imply certain terms into contracts between consumers and traders to enable more clarity of buyers’ rights and sellers’ responsibilities when disputes arise. For example, the law has provisions that ensure that any goods supplied match their description, are of satisfactory quality and are reasonably fit for their purpose. It also sets out that a supplier of a service should exercise reasonable skill and care in carrying out that service and that goods should be supplied or services carried out within a reasonable time.
The law will also provide some protection to consumers who buy motor vehicles in good faith when the vehicle is still subject to finance arrangements.
Senator Ozouf added that: ‘Of course, numerous transactions between consumers and traders take place each day where nothing ever goes wrong but, on the rare occasions when disputes arise, the law will make it easier for consumers (as well as sellers) to identify their basic contractual rights and remedies.’