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Author Buying services: Your legal rights explained
Tim
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Registered: 21st Apr 00
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12th Feb 03 at 13:13   View Garage View User's Profile U2U Member Reply With Quote

Buying services: Your legal rights explained
Taken from Law4Today.com (UK)

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Introduction

The law gives you certain rights as a consumer when buying services. These are standards that apply to all services provided by traders or businesses, whether you are paying for a haircut, a solicitor or for your hallway to be decorated. If these standards are not met, you will be entitled to have the defects made right or receive compensation for the loss or damage you have suffered.

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Your legal rights

Whenever you have a service carried out you enter in to a contract with the provider of that service. The provider agrees to perform the task as requested and the buyer agrees to pay the asking price for the service. The law, however, implies certain terms into contracts for the provision of services that are beneficial to the user. These are that services should be performed:

With reasonable skill and care
Within a reasonable time
For a reasonable charge ,where no price has been agreed on

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With reasonable skill and care

You are entitled to have the service carried out by someone exercising a reasonable degree of skill and care when doing it. Just because someone is normally very skilled, however, does not mean that they will always exercise that skill. What is important is the quality of the work done. You are legally entitled to a reasonable standard of workmanship. For example, if you have an extention built it should not begin to crumble after a few months, or if you have a suit dry cleaned it should come back reasonably clean.

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Within a reasonable time

You are entitled to have a service completed within a reasonable period of time. What is reasonable will depend upon the circumstances of the case, bearing in mind the complexity and size of the job. Even if you have not agreed a completion date, you are still legally entitled to this.

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For a reasonable charge, where no price has been agreed on

If you agree a price in advance, then you will be bound by this, even if at a later stage you realise that it is expensive. However, if no price was agreed in advance, then you are legally entitled to be charged a reasonable amount. Again, this will depend upon the complexity and length of the job, along with the cost of any materials used.

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Materials

The same rights that apply when buying goods directly apply to materials that are used as part of a service. This means that bricks or car parts etc, must be of satisfactory quality, fit for the stated purpose and as described. For more details see: Buying goods: Your legal rights explained.

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Put right

Where your legal rights are breached, you can seek to have the defects put right by the service provider, or for them to provide the cost of having it put right. For example, the cost of any repairs that need to be carried out on a faulty extention, or for a decorator to come and re-decorate your house as initially expected.

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Compensation

Where you have suffered loss or damage on top of the defects in the standard of work, you may seek compensation. For example, if a kitchen was poorly fitted and as a result it flooded the downstairs of your house, you can sue for compensation for the damage caused to your property. This could include damage to your carpets and compensation for the expense you have incurred as a result of being unable to live in your home.

 
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