The Consumer Protection Act Need to Know Facts

  • The CPA has made it easier for consumers to get out of agreements.
  • In terms of the CPA the agreement must be fair, written in plain language and contain no prohibited clauses.
  • The CPA does not apply to consumers if they are a big business with assets over the threshold value.
  • Section 61 has the most drastic effect on the supplier. The supplier is liable for any damages caused by defective goods, even if there is no negligence on the supplier’s side. (The consumer need not prove negligence). It is imperative to therefore ensure that only safe and reliable goods are sold and that suppliers have adequate public liability insurance.
  • The supplier may have an exemption clause that excludes ordinary negligence (not gross negligence) however the supplier must bring any risks to the attention of the consumers and the terms must be fair and reasonable. Therefore one should ensure the consumer initial next to your limited liability clause.
  • Under the new CPA there is an automatic implied warranty. It is therefore implied that the goods supplied are reasonably suitable for the purpose they are intended, are of good quality, are durable and comply with statutory standards. If not the consumer can get out of the agreement at the suppliers risk and expense and without penalty. The consumer must return the goods within 6 months of being delivered.
  • A consumer can further get out of the agreement if he/she did not have an opportunity to inspect the goods prior to delivery and if upon receipt thereof the goods are not suitable for the intended purpose. The goods must be returned within 10 days of delivery.
  • Repair and maintenance: In terms of the CPA a supplier must give a consumer an estimate of the repair and maintenance/supply or installation of replacement parts. The estimate must be pre-authorized by the consumer.
  • There is further a three month warranty on repaired goods.
  • In terms of the CPA a supplier may not require a consumer to waive any of its rights, assume any obligation or waive any liability of the supplier that is unfair, unreasonable or unjust.
  • Certain information to be on all records given to the consumer ie Suppliers name, registration number, VAT number, address, date of transaction, unit price, quantity total price and taxes.