Guide

Customer protection

Customers' key rights when buying services

When you agree to provide a service to a customer you enter a legally binding contract under which the customer has certain legal rights.

The customer is entitled to the service defined in the contract you make with them. If you tell them you'll be using certain materials you must use them. If you say you'll have the work completed by a certain date, you must do so.

Under the Consumer Rights Act you must also:

  • carry out the work with reasonable skill and care
  • provide the service within a 'reasonable' amount of time and at a 'reasonable' price, if your contract with the customer doesn't specify exact dates or prices

There's no set definition of reasonable - but you can work on the assumption that it applies to how another supplier might carry out the service, how quickly and for what price.

Information you must provide

Under the Consumer Rights Act, almost all service providers are required to provide certain information to the recipients of their services. If this applies to you, the required information includes:

  • your business name, legal status and form
  • your business address and, if available, an email address
  • details of any UK or European Economic Area authorisation schemes or professional and regulatory bodies you are regulated by or must belong to
  • details of any trade or other similar public registration and your registration number
  • your VAT number, if the service is subject to VAT
  • details of any terms, conditions and after-sales guarantees
  • the price - where it is pre-determined - and details of the service to be provided
  • details of any professional indemnity insurance you hold and contact details for the insurance company
  • contact details for any complaints

If requested, there is further information you may be required to provide. You must also ensure that you do not discriminate on the grounds of nationality or location unless it can be justified by objective criteria. 

See providing consumers with contract information.