Rules and regulations

Legal requirements for traders are there to protect consumers and with several stories in the press at the moment it is a good time for a quick review of them.
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There are four acts that you need to be aware of and understand: (1) Sale of Goods Act 1979; (2) Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982; (3) Sale and Supply of Goods Act 1994 and Sale; and (4) Supply of Goods to Consumer Regulations 2002.

And, if you are selling items via the internet or mail order, for example, then you should also familiarise yourself with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000. Together, these acts offer consumer protection in excess of EU law, but according to Trading Standards, UK law takes precedent.

The Acts state that goods must ‘conform to contract’ – this means they must be as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality. Or, to put it another way, reach the standard a reasonable person would regard as satisfactory, having taken into account the price and any description. Goods must be free from minor defects and this includes the appearance and finish. Goods must also be durable and safe.

Should the goods not conform to contract at the time of sale then it is important to remember that it is the seller, not the manufacturer, who is responsible for the goods. This means that you as the seller may have refunded the consumer in full (or in part, depending on use and abuse) within a reasonable time.

Goods must last a reasonable period of time. Depending on the item, this could be up to six years. Should you sell an item that produces a fault within six months it is deemed faulty from new. (Unless you can prove otherwise.) After six months it is up to the customer to prove it was faulty from new.

This has been a brief introduction so talk to your local Trading Standards who can give you advice pertinent to your business.



You don't progress by standing still

By now readers will be aware that the PCA has progressed to become the TCA ?the Technology Channels Association?by joining with the Mac Technology Association. Since you will probably have already read the press releases and the comment around them, I thought you might also appreciate a bit of the inside story.

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Retail is detail

First impressions count and are hard to correct, so in retail, you must get it right the moment a customer walks in.

The end of an era

Time for a quick recap of the story so far. In June 2009, the merger of the Mac Technology Association and the PCA was announced and by September the effective combining of the two organisations was complete in all but one aspect ? our websites. There was simply too much Mac-channel specific information on the MTA website to allow us to turn it off.


One bad apple

The mainstream press enjoys a good villain ? a reprehensible target posing an uncomplicated but potent threat. Preferably this will be something inherently new, which lends itself nicely to a subtle hint that basically, modern society is going to pot.


WEEE needs you

Right, let?s revisit WEEE. Before I start, I should say I?m not an authority on WEEE and you should do your own research to keep yourself legal ? I would suggest contacting WeeeCare, who helped me with this, on 0844 800 2004.

Christmas is coming

Windows 7 should give the whole channel a much needed sales boost over the Christmas period. With a good press right from the start, unlike its predecessor Vista, there are a lot of excellent opportunities with Windows 7. New users who are unfamiliar with the OS will need help, others will want to upgrade, and there will be lots of new computers to configure.