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Buying services: advice on consumer rights

When you go to the hairdresser, ask a garage to repair your car or call a plumber, you are buying a service. You have statutory rights which protect you if things go wrong.

What rights do I have when a trader provides a service? 

You have the right to certain standards. A service should be carried out:

  • with reasonable skill and care. A job should be done to the standard of an ordinary competent person in that profession
  • within a reasonable time frame if you have not agreed a deadline
  • at a reasonable price if no price has been fixed in advance

What is the difference between an estimate or quotation?

An estimate is usually just an informed guess however a quotation is a fixed price which is legally binding.

Don’t assume that all traders provide free quotations. Ask before you invite them to your home. Also check any terms and conditions that may accompany a quotation before you accept.

The trader is a member of a trade association. Does this guarantee a good service?

Membership doesn’t necessarily guarantee satisfactory work, but if anything goes wrong you may have another avenue of complaint.

Check out in advance if any membership gives you any additional benefits, when deciding who to award a contract to.

You can find a list of trade associations and professional bodies in the front of the yellow section of the Jersey Telecom telephone directory.

Do I have to pay a call out charge?

If you ask a trader to come to your home then that in itself is a service, and they are entitled to payment.

When you call a trader, ask them what the minimum call out charge is so you do not have any nasty surprises and this will also give you an opportunity to shop around for the best price.

Do I have any statutory rights if the trader provides the materials and fittings?

Yes. You have the same statutory rights when a trader supplies materials and fittings as if you’d bought them yourself.

If there is a problem with the materials or the way they are installed you can claim against the fitter who bought and installed them.

Buying goods

Need more help or advice?

Contact our Consumer Advice Service for free confidential advice.

Consumer Advice Service

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