Very little seems to have been said about this, but there is a new Consumer Rights Bill due to be enacted this Autumn which could potentially cause some very serious problems for both installers and suppliers in our industry.
Basically this new Consumer Rights Bill, as it is written at the moment, will allow customers to demand a full refund if they report a just a small default. It would also allow the customer to return that said product to the installers. So imagine the scenario (and this was the scenario put forward at a recent GGF meeting): a customer spots a small scratch in a sealed unit to a window or a door. Thanks to the way the new CRB is written right now, it would allow that customer to demand a refund in full for that window and door. But not only that, the installers can then remove the faulty window or door from that person’s home without installing a replacement. See the problem?
As written on www.doubleglazingcompanies.com, the three main parts of the bill which will affect our industry are the following:
1. The Bill will introduce an “early right to reject” for goods – giving consumers the right to reject a product for a fault within 30 days and have a full refund, or agree one repair or replacement.
2. Time stops until the repair or replacement is given – once given the consumer has the remainder of the 30 days or at least 7 days to decide if the fault has been resolved. If the fault is not resolved then the consumer can reject then (known as the “final right to reject” and have a full refund or accept the product with the fault and have a price reduction. The consumer cannot opt for a further replacement AND a price reduction – it is one or the other.
3. A fault which is a latent defect can be complained about within 6 years of delivery (5 years in Scotland). The remedy is repair or replacement – if the fault is not resolved then the consumer can reject the product and get a refund subject to deduction for use, or keep the product with the fault and have a price reduction. The consumer can of course opt for a further repair or replacement to fix the fault.
See original article: http://doubleglazingcompanies.com/double-glazing-blog/
We all know how educated the consumer has become, thanks to the internet and completely biased TV programmes designed to promote the abuse of business. I’m afraid that if and when this becomes law, as it is written, this would leave so many of our businesses open to massive amounts of abuse. This law I believe actually has the potential to turn what are currently a reasonable demographic of customers into well informed, professional refunders.
This is why I believe that as an industry, and on behalf of business in general, we all need to fight this rule as quickly and as strongly as possible. Because if not, there is the real possibility that good honest businesses are going to lose vital amounts of money. That is why I am going to be campaigning hard to point out to the powers that be that as it stands, this new CRB is potentially very harmful.
At the moment the GGF seems to be the only body within our industry that is even trying to alert Government to the possible problems. Now it’s time to put all your objections and opinions of the GGF aside as they are the only body that has clear access to Government and have been the first body to campaign against the current version of this bill. So we need to get behind this effort to enhance it further to make it louder and more powerful.
One of the best ways to bring this to the attention to Government is for all of us to write a letter to our local MP’s to register our displeasure. Click here to download a template provided by the GGF to make that a little bit easier: consumer righst bill template letter for constituency mp final-530f47d071d6e. What I shall also be doing is writing to Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to raise my own discomfort at this new bill. We have spoken by letter a few times so I cam confident that he will at least read my letter and send me a reply.
We need to be clear about this, if this law does not change before it is enacted, it WILL our businesses open to even more abuse than we are receiving now. If we do not back a campaign of pressure to change it, we WILL be at great risk.
What a joke.Could potentially clog the court system.Mind you I may be busy boarding where windows have been removed.Maybe an insurance policy will be introduced to cover us all.
Looking at this from a slightly different angle, and using your scratched glass example above. If the customer complained of a scratched unit in a door you could just replace the glass unit if said glass was was itemised on the invoice. This will of course make invoices longer (no more “supply & fit of door” descriptions).
Just a thought
This is a good point. This would separate the unit from the door, making it a “separate purchase”, limiting the amount of potential disruption.
You are often highlighting the rogue element of our industry and self promoting how efficiently your Dad’s company operate so why are you worried about this? You highlight that a customer spots a scratch in the unit… are you suggesting that this is ok? You would no doubt apologise for the oversight and organise a replacement to be fitted promptly and everyone is happy. If you think that the customer will demand a full refund then you are covered as you say by your rights to collect the goods. This is not a great deal different to the content of… Read more »
Hi Anthony It is a worry not just to myself but to others also, see the DGC blog post: http://doubleglazingcompanies.com/double-glazing-blog/2014/02/30-day-money-back-rights-for-consumers/ As an industry we are all concerned about the growing negative consumer behaviour which is becoming a larger problem year on year. Anything which gives the consumer an unfair advantage, which I see this bill as doing so, over business again, puts us at a severe disadvantage. As much as we pride ourselves on our work here at my Dads place, mistakes will occasionally happen. I think every honest person in business will admit that. What we should be making… Read more »
GGF Members have been made aware of the upcoming consumer legislation for several months now, both regarding the Consumer Rights Directive being implemented in June 2014 and the Consumer Rights Bill due Autumn 2014. GGF membership starts from just £315 per year. Please email us at email@example.com if you would like details on joining.
Also you say the customer can report a fault upto 6 years after installation/supply, but what for example if the installer/suppliers warrenty is only for 5 years. Can a customer report a fault and demand a FOC replacement or refund outside of the companies warrenty. For this example, lets move out of our industry and into the relm of “white goods”. Your dish washer develops a fault 3 years after you brought it, now white goods come with a 1 year warrenty. do you get a free replacement or refund then? With that in mind, will the introduction of the… Read more »
Another good question Michael. I don’t know the answer to this myself. The information you are referring to came from the DGC website and not myself. However I am going to be writing to the Shadow Chancellor to ask various questions, so this will be one I can put to him.
Wonder if anyone from the GGF who have better knowledge than me about this could answer this one?
The current law is that a fault which is a latent defect (i.e. was there at the time of delivery) can be complained about within 6 years of delivery (5 years in Scotland). This is because of the statute of limitations act which determines the 6 years – goods have to be fit for purpose relevant to their expected lifespan. The length of guarantee you give is immaterial in such cases. So if you only give a 5 year guarantee, the consumer still has the right to complain about the goods being fit for purpose within 6 years from delivery.… Read more »
To come at this from a different angle, as I understand it once windows you supply are fitted into a property, if your customer doesn’t pay for those goods you as the supplier are not allowed to remove the windows. The reason for this is that, once fitted, the windows become part of the fabric of the building. In other words, once the windows are fitted they change their legal status from supplied goods to part of the building. If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the same rule apply when it comes to complying with consumer rights legislation? Perhaps installers… Read more »
We are, of course, keeping an eye on this bill (there are some 129 pages of it), and making our views felt on behalf of the industry. There are properly some real concerns regarding bad customers. We certainly need to deal with rogue double glaziers, but the “consumer rights” lobby don’t seem to understand that a company that no longer exists cannot be held liable, nor will they catch the “man with the white van” who doesn’t issue a contract, demands cash for a cheap job and changes his/her name from time to time. This part of the act will… Read more »