This is probably the most important act as far as the customer and supplier is concerned.
When customers buy something in a shop they enter into a legal contract with the retailer who has to fulfill certain obligations. The goods sold must be:* As described* Of satisfactory quality (rather than merchantable quality)* Fit for all purposes, not just fit for one purposeAs describedThis part of the act means that the products must match the description. For example if a bag of Budgens own brand sugar said it weighed 250g, but instead it only weighed 230g, this would be an offence, as it is not matching the description on the pack, and is leading customers.Of satisfactory qualityThe law now says that the goods should be of satisfactory quality (rather then merchantable quality). This covers for example, the appearance and finish of the goods, their safety and their durability. Goods must be free from defects – even minor ones unless the product is sold as perfect, it must have no faults. It the customer is not able to inspect the goods on the premises, they are entitled to a refund, if the item is flawed or faulty.The customer is not obliged to accept a credit note or replacement goods.
For example if the customer brought a value packet of crisps only to find that half of them are open, the customer can then get a refund or their money back. Whereas if a tin of chocolate had a note on it, stating that the tin was damaged, and the customer brought it back complaining that the tin was damaged. It this case the customer was fully aware of the situation and therefore will not get a refund.Fit for all their intended purposesThe law says: you must not mislead the customer about the function of an item. Not only must the goods do what the manufacturer or retailer claims they will do, they must also do what the customer has specifically asked for it to do.
For example if the salad said for vegetarians and it contained eggs in it then that would be violating the law.The customers usually have a 14 day money back guarantee, in which you can test out your appliance at home in your own time. If you fail to do in the 14 days then the retailer cannot help you in giving you a refund or money back.This act is in two parts: goods and servicesGoodsThis extends the protection for the customers provided by the Sale of Goods Act 1979/94 to include goods supplies as part of a service, on hire or in part exchange for example, if someone hires out a test and on the wedding day it blows out.ServicesThis part deals with the standard of services provided by builders, plumbers, TV repairers, hairdressers, garages etc. It protects the buyer against poor workmanship, delays and hidden costs. The act states that all services should carry out:* For a reasonable charge* Within a reasonable time* With a reasonable care and skillThis act was introduced to protect employees and individuals from the unauthorized use or exchange of information held on computerised databases.Individuals and employees have particular rights under the Data Protection Act, which include:* Right of access of information being held by an organisation about the individual which is personal data within the definitions of the Act.
* The right to be given a copy of such data being held on the computer system.The effect of this law is to reassure the public that a stage of Big ‘Brotherdom’ would not be allowed to develop, where sensitive or private information held on computer could be used in such a way as to destroy the affected persons relationship, or could be used or moved around without an individual’s knowledge or permission.Budgens have a Data Protection Policy; it requires the Company to abide by certain rules when dealing with personal data, which relates to its employees, ie the employees bank account number, for allowances, tax information and pace of work and job title.The employee has the right to request a copy of the personal data that the company holds in relation to you.A trading standards department exists all local authorities ie councils. Trading Standards Officers try to ensure that firms do not break consumer protection laws. They are also able to advise business owners on how to comply with the law and consumers on their legal rights.Trading Standards Officers make checks on business premises and will investigate complaints made by members of the public about particular businesses.
If Budgens do not offer good customer service ie treat their customers properly then the company might face difficulties, some of them being sales, profitability and corporate image.SalesIf Budgens deliver poor customer service to one customer that customer is more likely to tell others about their bad experience with the company, therefore Budgens loose not only their potential customers, but existing customers too. This will impact on the sales figures as fewer customers are shopping at Budgens, this also links directly to profitability. If the sales figures decrease, so does the profit the company is making.Corporate ImageCorporate image is very important, if the company do not deal with complains in a proper way or do not deal with it altogether, then the customer can go to the Trading Standards Officers, to complain with what the company has or has not done. If the customer foes do so, the company’s reputation will go down. Press will get involved if the news gets to big, and the complaint from the customer will go in the newspaper, and the news, if the matter is really big.
This will result in a major loss in customers and their reputation has decreased so much, customers are afraid it might happen to them one day too. This affects sales directly, which intern effects profitability.Consumer Protection Act 1987This Act is separated into two new areas:This act is set to enable all customers do not get mislead by anything. The Law states that a person is guilty of an offence if he/she gives consumers an indication that is misleading as to the price at which any goods, services, accommodation or facilities are available.An example would be, false comparisons, ie 20% off everything on she shelf, Budgens might have already taken the price off the original price, bust sometimes the customer has to take it off themselves.The second area is that, it is an offence to offer or to agree to supply unsafe goods, or processing them for supply.For example, if Budgens had to sell goods that were not of satisfactory quality, ie if a bottle of dishwashing liquid contained a harmful substance, then that would be supplying unsafe goods to the public and the company would get sued.