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What you’re entitled to when buying services

May 19th, 2024 8:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

What you’re entitled to when buying services Image
Consumer law covers a range of contracts for services including wedding photograpy.

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THE Consumer Rights Act 2022 introduced new rights when you buy services. However, they only apply if you bought a service on or after November 29th 2022. You have different rights if you bought on or before November 28th 2022.

What is a service?

Consumer law covers many contracts for services.

Examples of services covered include entertainment, accommodation, transport, building works and maintenance contracts.

Personal services (for example, wedding photography), pet care services, storage facilities and legal or other professional services are also covered.

If you have a contract for a service, consumer law sets out the minimum standards that apply and the remedies if the service falls short of these standards.

What should you know before you buy a service?

You have a legal right to certain information before you buy a service, including:

• The trader’s business name, address and phone number

• Details about the service (if not already clear)

• Total price, or how it will be calculated

• Length of the contract (if applicable)

• Any extra charges, for example, delivery charges

• Your right to cancel (where it applies)

The information must be clear, easy to understand and given to you before you buy. You have additional rights to information if you buy online or from your doorstep.

Traders must not make claims that would distort your buying decisions. A seller who makes a false or misleading claim about a service is committing an offence and can be prosecuted.

What you can expect from the service

If you have a contract for a service, consumer law sets out the minimum standards that apply to the service. Services must be in conformity with the contract you made. In conformity means the service is as you expect it would be, according to the contract you made with the trader.

Services must work as the trader said they would. They must match any advertisement and any verbal or written information you got. In addition, they must meet the terms of the contract, where the service is supplied with goods or digital elements.

The trader is obliged to:

• Provide the service in line with the contract

• Have the required skills to carry out the service

• Supply the service with reasonable care and attention

• Only use materials that are fit for purpose and match any descriptions you got

• Charge you a reasonable price, where the price is not agreed beforehand (for example, it was based on an estimate or quote)

• Comply with all applicable laws

If a trader tells you they will provide a higher standard of care and skill than can be reasonably expected, or if they are subject to a standard set by a professional body or a code of practice, they will be held to that higher standard.

What are the options if you are not happy with the service?

If things go wrong with the service, it is always the trader who should put things right.

Under consumer law, the trader must resolve any issue, so the service meets what was agreed in the contract. The seller must correct the issue for free, within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to you. A reasonable time means the shortest possible time to fix the issue.

If it is not possible or too expensive for the supplier to resolve the issue, you have the right to either a price reduction or refund. If the issue is minor, you can only ask for a price reduction.

If your complaint cannot be resolved by the supplier of the service, you can make a formal complaint to the relevant trade or professional body. However, many suppliers are not members of any trade or professional body.

If you have used the service provider’s complaints procedure and the problem is still not resolved, you can use the small claims procedure (for claims less than €2,000) or take a civil case (for claims over €2,000).

Where can you get more information on what to do if you have problems with a service.

If you have a dispute with an Irish-based service supplier, you can contact the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) for advice and support.

Their telephone number is (01) 402 5555 and (01) 402 5500.

The CCPC can take enforcement action against a trader who fails to comply with consumer law.

There is also very useful information on their website:

For further information call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in West Cork on 0818 07 8390.

They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you.

The offices are staffed from 10 am-5 pm from Monday to Thursday and on Friday from 10 am-4 pm.

Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or log on to

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