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ESSENTIAL ASPECTS FOR BUSINESS OF THE CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT - page 3 / 4

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Section16: Right to cooling-off period after direct marketing

A consumer is entitled to cancel an agreement which resulted from direct marketing, without reason or penalty. The cool-off period is 5 business days from the time of the transaction. The supplier must refund the consumer within 15 days from return of the goods or notice of termination.

Section19: Consumer’s rights regarding delivery of goods or supply of services

It is an implied (silent) term of every transaction for the supply of goods and services that:

  • The supplier is responsible to deliver the goods or services on the agreed place, time and date; at the cost of the supplier.

  • If the supplier tenders delivery of the goods or services on a date or time other than that agreed to, the consumer may:

    • Accept the delivery as tendered; or

    • Insist that delivery occur on the agreed date (if delivery has not yet occurred); or

    • Cancel the agreement without penalty, treating the delivered goods as unsolicited goods/services to section 21.

  • If the supplier delivers a quantity larger than what was agreed, the consumer may:

    • Reject all the goods; or

    • Accept the delivery and treat the excess quantity of goods as unsolicited goods to section 21.

Note: the implications of late delivery of goods and services are harsh. Suppliers should be careful when they commit to a time and date for delivery.

Section 20: Consumers right to return goods The consumer may return goods for a full refund if:

  • the goods were returned as a result of termination during the cool- off period;

  • the consumer was not given an opportunity to examine the goods prior to delivery;

  • the supplier sent a mixture of goods (not only what was ordered);

  • the goods were ordered for a particular purpose and the consumer found that (within 10 business days) the goods were not suitable for the intended purpose.

Section 21: Unsolicited goods or services Goods or services are unsolicited if:

  • the goods were left with the consumer after direct marketing;

  • the goods delivered are materially different to what was ordered;

  • delivery was rejected as a result of delivery on incorrect date, time or location;

  • the supplier delivered a larger quantity of goods than what was order; the excess is unsolicited.

Note: a rm which delivers goods as part of its business must be fully acquainted with the implications of the entire section 21; this is only the highlights of the section. It is important to know that the consumer becomes the owner of unsolicited goods.

Section 22: Plain language

Any document, notice or contract must be in plain language:

  • So that an ordinary consumer with average literacy skills and minimal experience as a consumer of the relevant goods or services could be expected to understand the content.

Section 30: Bait Marketing

A supplier may not mislead the consumer in any advertisement about the availability of goods or services at a specic price when the supplier is unable or does not intend to supply the goods or services at those prices.

Section 31: Negative option marketing

A supplier may not promote any goods or services on the basis that an agreement will automatically come into existence, unless the consumer (actively) declines the offer.

Section 41: False, misleading or deceptive representations

The supplier of goods or services may not, directly or indirectly, express or imply a false, misleading or deceptive representation concerning a material fact, or use exaggerated, innuendo or ambiguity as to a material fact, or fail to correct an apparent misapprehension on the part of the consumer.

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