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

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Section 47: Over-selling and over booking

If the supplier accepts a reservation but fails to deliver because of insufcient stock or capacity, the supplier must:

  • Refund the consumer with interest;

  • Compensate the consumer for costs directly

incidental to the supplier’s breach.

Section 48: Unfair, unreasonable or unjust contract terms

A supplier may no longer insert contract terms which are excessively one-sided, which require the consumer to waive his/her rights or which force the consumer to assume certain obligations or indemnify the supplier. It is important to revise contracts to bring them in line with the Act. The ‘old’ terms may be deemed to be a contravention of the Act.

10. HOW DOES BUSINESS ADJUST? ADJUST / CHANGE YOUR CONTRACTS

  • Consumers and non-consumers: consider having two sets of contracts, one for the consumer and one for non-consumers.

  • Plain language: the contract for the consumers must use plain language, while current contracts may continue to be used for non-consumers.

  • Fair/reasonable should be the benchmark for consumer contracts

  • Notice for certain terms (e.g. Limiting risk/ liability of the supplier, indemnities)

  • Dispute resolution provision

  • Reduce to writing

TRAIN YOUR STAFF

Note: see regulation 33 of the Regulations to the Act, which is downloadable from the BCA website, contains a list of ‘unjust’ contract terms.

Section 54: Consumer’s right to demand quality service

The consumer has the right to the timely performance and completion of services, and the timely notice of any unavoidable delays; the performance of the service is to be in a manner and quality that persons are generally entitled to expect.

  • Staff may be the possible cause for liability or infringements of the Act

  • Create a new culture of awareness amongst staff

  • Improve on and monitor turn around times

  • Report back to clients

  • Response to complaints

  • No false representation

  • Complacence or tardiness in staff (disciplinary measures)

DELIVER QUALITY GOODS / SERVICES

Section 55: Consumer’s rights to safe, good quality goods

“goods must be reasonably suitable for the purpose for which they are generally intended’’

  • Review processes (manufacturing /

distribution / service delivery)

  • Quality control

“it is irrelevant whether product failure or defect is latent or patent or whether it could have been detected by the

consumer”

LIABILITY INSURANCE

  • Consider product liability insurance

/ professional indemnity

  • Severe penalties for non-compliance

Section 61: Liability for damage caused by goods

the supply chain is jointly and severally liable for any harm caused wholly or partly as a consequence of supplying unsafe goods, product failure, a defect or hazard, or from harm arising from inadequate instructions or warnings pertaining to any hazard arising from or associated with the use of the goods, irrespective of the presence of negligence on behalf of the supply chain”

It is important to note that these notes are highlights of the Act as presented in the seminar; the notes are not intended to be a substitution for reading the Act and/or taking legal advice on any topic in the Act.

Tel: +27 21 552 9111

info@bcattorneys.co.za

Fax: +27 21 552 9114

www.bcattorneys.co.za

Tel: +27 21 422 3030

info@lgiprop.com

Fax: +27 21 422 2240

www.lgiprop.com

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