Services – New Laws

by Kidd Rapinet on November 17, 2009

Do you provide services? If so you may need to change or add to the information you give to buyers. The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 set out important new obligations for all service providers in the UK and indeed are part of EU-wide harmonisation of the law on services. Danny Hockman a partner in Kidd Rapinet’s High Wycombe office says “If you are a service provider, you need to take steps to ensure that you meet the information provisions set out in regulations 7 – 12. The regulations also make it easier to provide services throughout the European Economic Area. There are some services excluded from the regulations such as financial services, social services, security services, gambling, healthcare, cinemas, temporary work agencies, transport and electronic communications.

“Those businesses which fall within the regulations must provide to customers information such as the name of the business and legal form (such as sole trader or limited company), a geographic address, if registered for VAT, the VAT number details of any guarantees offered for products and the nature of the services if this is not obvious, price for the services etc. Customers must also be told how to complain about the services. Regulation 7 provides that the supplier must also make available contact details where recipients can request information or make a complaint – this must include a telephone number and one or more of a postal address, fax number or email address.

“Suppliers by regulation 9(1) must supply the following information about price if the recipient asks for it. Where the price is not pre-determined by the business for a given type of service, the price of the service must be given or, if an exact price cannot be given, the method for calculating the price so that it can be checked by the recipient, or a sufficiently detailed estimate. There are also special rules for regulated professions. Also, information must be given on any other activities carried out which are directly linked to the service and on the measures taken to avoid conflicts of interest. That information should be included in any information document in which the business gives a detailed description of the services. Information on codes of conduct should also be provided if any. The information must also be given in good time before the contract is concluded or before the service is provided when there is no written contract. This is so that the recipient has enough time to digest the information and change their mind about entering into the contract.”

It would be wise now to have your terms and conditions, web sites, brochures and marketing material checked to ensure compliance with the Regulations. Call Danny Hockman on 01494 535321 for further information.