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Sale Of Goods Act And Supply Of Goods And Services Act

Brief difference between the Sale of Goods Act and Supply of Goods and Services Act

The main difference between the Sale of Goods Act and the Supply of Goods and services act is:

  • Sales of Goods Act – specifies that goods provided for sale must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for the purpose so this covers the PRODUCT only.
  • Supply of Goods and Services Act – details that if a consumer enters into a contract for the supply of goods or services they must be supplied with reasonable care and skill within a reasonable time and at a reasonable charge. This covers the PRODUCT and the SERVICE supplied under contract.

Update: These acts have largely been replaced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 except for B2B and consumer to consumer transactions. Read our Consumer Rights Act 2015 Guide for further information

Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail and how they pertain to the telecoms/mobile phone market i.e. Goods or services provided by British Telecom (BT), Vodafone or O2.

Sale of Goods Act

sale of goods act

The sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) offers you protection when you go shopping, whether you are purchasing in a retail store or online (if the online retailer is based in England or Wales). It is a very important law for consumers as it offers protection. As we have already seen, the goods offered for sale must be accurately described, of good quality and fit for the purpose.

So if you are purchasing a mobile phone from Vodafone, their advertising material, or the salesperson’s verbal description, the representations have to be correct. As far as quality is concerned, this clarifies that the goods must last for a reasonable period of time and be free from defect. Note: If you are purchasing goods in a sale and faults have been illustrated to you at that time, this part of the act will not apply. They also have to be fit for the purpose so if you are purchasing a phone for your office from BT and are told it will function in a way that you can receive and make telephone calls; it has to be able to do this.

The act offers you protection because if you purchase items from any company, such as BT, Vodafone or O2, if they do not comply with the act you can return the item for a refund and possibly compensation too if you would have to pay more to buy the said goods somewhere else. A reasonable time period normally applies after which you can still ask for the goods to be replaced/repaired. If you are buying privately a second-hand mobile phone, manufactured by BT, on eBay then your only protection is that the item has to be as described by the seller.

Supply Of Goods and Services Act

Supply of Goods & Services Act 1982 offers you protection if you ‘enter into a contract’ for the supply of goods and/or services. So, if you take out a monthly contract with Vodafone or O2 for a mobile phone, the goods have to be supplied with reasonable care and skill. This law not only covers the goods (mobile phone) but also the telephone service that comes with it. Optionally, if you take out a contract with Vodafone for a Pay-As-You-Go mobile phone, they are still providing you with goods and a service, so the same rules apply.

The term ‘reasonable’ can be clarified by an industry professional or manufacturer or an independent expert.

Where goods are also included, as in our example above of the mobile phone from Vodafone or O2, they too have to be: As described, of good quality and fit for their intended purpose (just as in the Sale of Goods Act).

Further Information: If would like further information about Breach of Contract and how Selachii can help, contact us online or call us on 02077925649

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