Whenever you sell services to a customer you have certain responsibilities.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that a person providing a service must do so with 'reasonable care and skill'. It also requires the service to be carried out within a 'reasonable time' and for no more than a 'reasonable charge' unless there was prior agreement with the customer about these matters.
What does ‘reasonable’ mean?
The definition of the term 'reasonable' will vary, depending on the circumstances.
If you have agreed a price for your service with a customer, it is not 'reasonable' to change it without a good reason. For example, a good reason would be providing services in addition to those originally agreed with the customer.
Similarly, if a defined timescale has been agreed with your customer for the delivery of services, it should not be changed without good reason and agreement with the customer.
Goods supplied during a service
Any goods you supply as part of delivering your service will be subject to the conditions under the Act which cover goods. For example, if you are a central-heating engineer, your service would be installing a central heating system, but you would also be responsible for the goods you install, such as pipes, radiators and boilers.
Although there is more responsibility attached to the manufacturers and producers of goods, you could also be held liable if the use of products or services you supply causes any damage, injury or death. See product liability.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services