If you’ve read our guide to goods, services and consumer rights, you’ll know that a business that’s selling or planning to sell goods to consumers (known as B2C trading) in the UK needs to make sure that it’s complying with the rules set out in the UK’s Consumer Rights Act 2015.
One of those rules directs that there must be a contract in place between the trader and the consumer. Other rules govern what that contract must include, how it should be written and presented, and the rights and restrictions that you can lawfully include.
If you need a contract
We’ve got several contract templates that will help you to get started in creating legally robust documentation.
If you want a contract that looks more like standard terms and conditions, then you can use our B2C terms and conditions of sale of goods (coming soon), our B2C terms and conditions of services (coming soon) or, one which combines them both, our B2C terms and conditions of goods and services (coming soon). These are great for one-off purchases and where you don’t need the consumer to have signed something for a contract to be struck.
For more enduring supply relationships, where there are repeat purchases, you might want to use our selling goods to consumers template (coming soon), or supplying services to consumers template (coming soon), or the one that combines them both: our B2C supply of goods and services agreement (coming soon).
How can you ensure that your contract complies with the law?
There are a number of key factors that you must consider to ensure you’ve got a legally compliant arrangement that won’t leave you vulnerable in the face of consumer complaints.
We’ve set these out below.
The contract must be fair
If a customer makes a complaint against you, your contract terms will only be legally binding if they’re considered fair.
Terms are automatically considered unfair if they try to lessen or remove the customer’s statutory rights, or if they work more in the favour of the trader’s business than the consumer.
The assessment of what’s unfair considers the way the contract is worded, what’s being sold, how the term fits in with the rest of the contract, and in what situation the contract was agreed to.
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