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last updated: 29th July 2011

The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 requires a supplier of a service acting in the course of business in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to carry out that service with reasonable care and skill and, unless agreed to the contrary, within a reasonable time and make no more than a reasonable charge.

In Scotland, common law has similar effect to the 1982 Act however it is recommended that, if in Scotland and you have a concern regarding the quality of services you are receiving from a supplier, you seek advice from your Head of Procurement, if necessary, about the common law in Scotland.

These terms apply unless they have been excluded. See unfair contract terms.

If a supplier of a service breaches the conditions of a contract (for example by failing to carry out the work ordered) you have a choice to either to

  • Treat the contract as if it was still in existence and claim compensation from the supplier for its failure to carry out what was agreed, or
  • cancel the contract
     

If the supplier does not carry out the work with reasonable care and skill, the law treats the matter as a breach of contract.

Any goods supplied in the course of the service must be as described, of satisfactory quality and fit for their purpose.

Where a supplier of a service has broken a contract, there may also be grounds for a claim for consequential loss suffered by the purchaser. It would be for the courts to decide whether or not a breach of contract has occurred and whether damages were due to the purchaser.
 

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