For goods, digital content and services the Ordinance codifies rules that likely already exist under contract law as implied terms in consumer contracts.
By codifying these rules and making it law that they are implied terms of consumer contracts, traders have clarity on the extent of their responsibilities and it helps ensure fair competition.
This part also provides explicit remedies for breaches of the requirements, providing certainty to both traders and consumers on appropriate resolutions.
Goods are tangible, movable items only, including gas and electricity where they are sold in a set volume or quantity.
Goods rights apply to contracts for the sale of goods for money, the transfer of goods for something other than money, the hire of goods, and hire-purchases.
Type of contract
Sale of goods
Ownership of goods
Transfer of goods
Ownership of goods
Something other than money
Hire of goods
Possession of goods for agreed amount of time
Whatever is agreed under contract
Possession of goods for agreed amount of time, option to get ownership of goods if certain conditions fulfilled
This does not apply to:
- Goods sold by way of execution or under authority of the courts,
- A mortgage, charge, hypotheque, lien or other security,
- Goods sold at public auction.
Goods must be of satisfactory quality
- Goods must be of the quality that a reasonable person would consider satisfactory taking into account:
- How the goods are described
- Price, if relevant
- General fitness for purpose
- Appearance and finish
- Freedom from minor defects
- Excludes any defect brought to the consumer's attention before the contract is made.
Goods must be fit for a particular purpose made known
- If the consumer tells the trader they intend to use the goods for a particular purpose, regardless whether that purpose is what the goods are normally used for, and it's reasonable for the consumer to rely on the trader's knowledge and expertise, and the trader sells the consumer the goods, the goods have to be fit for that purpose.
Goods must be as described
- The goods supplied must match any description given. This includes packaging, labelling, and any verbal descriptions given.
Goods sold by sample or model
- If goods are sold by sample or model and the consumer examines them of the goods, they must match the sample or model except for any difference brought to the consumer's attention before the contract is made. The goods must also be as described. The goods must be free from any defect that wouldn't have been apparent on reasonably examining the sample.
Goods that include digital content
- If goods include digital content that doesn't conform, the goods don't conform.
Part III information must be included
- This information is treated as a term of the contract and any change to it is only effective if agreed by the consumer.
Goods must be installed correctly
- Where installation of the goods forms part of the contract and is the responsibility of the trader, goods do not conform if they aren't installed correctly.
Trader must have the right to supply goods
- The trader must have the right to transfer as much possession/ownership of the goods as agreed in the contract at the time the possession/ownership is to be transferred.
- The goods must be free from charges/encumbrances not made known to consumers beforehand. The consumer must enjoy quiet possession.
Trader must not breach other requirements stated in the contract
- Goods must conform to any other requirements stated in the contract.
Short term right to reject
- Consumers have a short term right to reject, which allows them to receive refund without needing to allow attempt at repair/replacement first.
- This lasts from the time the contract was entered into until 30 days after the goods have been delivered and installed and ownership has passed.
- If goods are perishable, the time limit is reduced as appropriate.
- If the consumer agrees to a repair/replacement during this time, the time limit extends to whichever is the later of:
- Remainder of original 30 days + time taken for repair/replacement,
- 7 days after goods returned.
Repair or replacement
- The repair or replacement has to be provided within reasonable time and without any inconvenience to the consumer,
- The trader must bear any necessary costs.
- Either remedy can't be required if :
- disproportionate to the other,
- Once remedy agreed consumer must give the trader reasonable opportunity for it to be completed.
Final right to reject or price reduction
- The final right to reject, or right to price reduction is available to a consumer:
- After one failed repair or replacement
- If repair/replacement is impossible or disproportionate
- If the trader didn't repair/replace the goods within a reasonable time
- If the trader didn't repair/replace the goods without significant inconvenience
- When a consumer exercises their final right to reject, they return the goods to the trader and receive a refund.
- When a consumer exercises their right to a price reduction they keep the goods and receive an appropriate reduction in price, which can be up to the full price of the goods. The consume receives a refund of any amount they've already paid over the new reduced price.
- Consumers exercise their right to reject by clearly indicating they are doing so, it doesn't have to be in writing. The trader must then give a refund within 14 days of agreeing that the consumer is entitled to a refund. The consumer must make the goods available for collection or return the goods as agreed.
- If goods form a commercial unit the consumer must reject all goods in that unit.
- A commercial unit is where dividing the goods would materially impair the value of the goods or the character of the unit e.g. a sofa set.
- If the goods don't form a commercial unit, the consumer can reject all of the goods, or only the goods that do not conform.
6-month conformity deadline
- For repair/replacement and final right to reject/price reduction - goods that do not conform within the first 6 months are said to have not conformed on the day the contract was entered into. This does apply unless proven otherwise, or this is incompatible with the nature of the goods.
- Amount of refunds
Type of Contract
Sales contract for anything other than a motor vehicle, within first 6 months
No fees can be charged
Refunds of money must be through same method of payment used by consumer
Trader must bear reasonable cost of returning items, except for cost of returning in person to place where consumer took possession of the goods
Sales contract for motor vehicle
Refund less deduction for use
Sales contract after first 6 months
Refund less deduction for use
Same amount back of what was transferred or return of what was transferred
Refund of amount paid for period of hire consumer does not get
Refund of part of price already paid
Delivery of wrong quantity
- If there is delivery of less than ordered, the consumer can reject all the goods, or can accept what has been delivered and pay for them at the contract rate (subject to any special agreement or course of dealing between the parties).
- If there is delivery of more than ordered, the consumer can reject all the goods, accept the amount that was ordered and reject the rest, or accept all and pay for what they accepted at the contract rate (subject to any special agreement or course of dealing between the parties).
- If there was an agreed time/period of delivery that was essential, or that the consumer told the trader was essential, the goods must be delivered at that time. If not, the consumer can treat the contract as at an end and get a refund.
- If there was an agreed time/period of delivery which wasn't essential or the consumer hadn't told the trader was essential, delivery must be delivered within that period. If not, the consumer can name an appropriate date/time for delivery. If the goods aren't delivered within that time, the consumer can treat the contract as at an end and get a refund.
- If there was no agreed time or period for delivery, the goods must be delivered without undue delay, within 30 days. If not, the consumer can name an appropriate date/time for delivery. If the goods aren't delivered within that time, the consumer can treat the contract as at an end and get a refund.
Passing of risk
- Goods remain at the trader's risk until in the physical possession of the consumer or the consumer's representative.
- Where a guarantee relating to goods is given to the consumer, without extra charge, by a trader (whether or not that trader supplied the goods), the guarantee must set out the following information:
- Contents of the guarantee
- How to make claims
- Name and address of the guarantor
- Where the guarantee is effective
- How long the guarantee lasts
- Confirmation that consumers have statutory rights relating to the goods which aren't affected by the guarantee
- The guarantor, and any trader that supplies the goods the guarantee applies to, must provide the consumer with a written copy of the guarantee if asked to.
- TSS can apply for an injunction against someone for failing to comply with the rules on guarantees.
Contracts which apply a law from elsewhere
- If the law from elsewhere is chosen by the parties to apply to a sales contract, but the contract has a close connection with Guernsey, this Chapter applies, except for the following provisions:
- Part III information must be provided and is a term of the contract,
- Passing of risk,
- Limits on excluding/restricting liability for above and delivery.