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Press releases 2002 -

OFT shuts door on unfair trading practices

PN 30/02     22 May 2002

A door supplier has been stopped by the OFT from supplying and installing poor quality goods.

The owner of Surrey-based Specialist Doors, Mark Talbot, has given written undertakings under the Stop Now Regulations that he will stop breaching the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. Assurances were also provided by Mr Talbot under the provisions of Part III of the Fair Trading Act 1973.

The OFT received a number of complaints from consumers that Specialist Doors:

  • supplied doors and fittings that were of unsatisfactory quality
  • supplied doors not fit for their purpose
  • supplied goods that did not match their description
  • failed to deliver and/or fit goods within the agreed time or at all
  • fitted goods without reasonable care and skill.

The case was referred from Merton Trading Standards Service.

Complaints were also made against Specialist Doors and Windows Ltd, of which Mr Talbot was a director until it went into liquidation in May 2001. The undertakings and assurances cover any business that Mr Talbot operates.

Any breach of the undertakings and/or assurances could lead to court action.

Welcoming the assurances John Vickers, Director General of Fair Trading said:

'Consumers have a basic right to goods of satisfactory quality that are fit for their purpose, match their description and are installed properly. The OFT and trading standards services will act against suppliers who breach these rights.'

NOTES

1. Under the Stop Now Regulations, the OFT can apply for a Court order against traders who breach or are threatening to breach a number of laws harming the collective interests of consumers covered by those laws. It can seek written assurances in lieu of court action.

2. The Regulations cover the following areas: doorstep selling, timeshare, unfair contract terms, consumer credit, distance selling, package travel, package holidays and package tours, misleading and comparative advertising, sale of goods rights, TV broadcasting activities and advertising of medicinal products for human use.

3. Part III of the Fair Trading Act 1973 provides that, where it appears that a person has persisted in a course of conduct detrimental to the interests of consumers and has broken his obligations under criminal or civil law, the Director General of Fair Trading can ultimately bring court proceedings for an Order.

4. Full details of the assurances given are as follows:

Mr Talbot will refrain from:

(a) Continuing to consent to or connive at the course of conduct of:

(i) Committing breaches of contract with consumers by supplying goods which:

  • Are not of satisfactory quality as required by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
  • Are not fit for the purpose for which they were purchased as required by section 4(5) of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

(ii) Committing breaches of contracts with consumers by failing to carry out services with reasonable care and skill required by section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

(iii) Committing breaches of contracts with consumers by supplying goods, which do not correspond with the description applied to the goods as required by section 3(2) of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

(iv) Committing breaches of contracts with consumers by failing to install and or deliver goods or parts of goods within the time agreed or, where no time was agreed, within a reasonable time as required by section 14 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

(b) Carrying on the same or any similar course of conduct in the course of any business, which at any time is carried on by him.

(c) Consenting to or conniving at the carrying on of any such course of conduct by any other body corporate, in relation to which, at any time when that course of conduct is carried on, he is (or purports to act as) a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer or in which he has, at that time, a controlling interest.




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