§ Mr. Archie Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Trade whether he has any plans to extend the rights of consumers under the Supply of Goods (Implied Terms) Act 1973.
§ Mrs. Sally Oppenheim
The 95th report of the Law Commission, published today, is concerned with implied terms in contracts for the supply of goods other than by sale or hire purchase. There is currently some uncertainty about the legal rights of a customer who enters into a contract for the supply of goods through hire, exchange, barter, or for a combination of work and materials.
The Law Commission recommends that the customer's rights should be the same whether his contract is one of sale, hire purchase, hire, exchange, or for work and materials—and that these rights should be laid down clearly by statute.
The report also recommends that an additional implied term on durability be included in all contracts for the sale or supply of goods. The statutory form 707W which this might take is, however, being considered further in the context of the Law Commission's current reference on the implied terms of quality and fitness for purpose in contracts for the sale and supply of goods. A proposal for the inclusion of an additional implied term on servicing facilities and the provision of spare parts was rejected, these matters in the Law Commission's view being more suited to regulation through voluntary codes of practice than by a statutory provision.
The overall recommendations would, if adopted, represent a significant extension to the statutory rights of customers. I am now considering what action I should take in the light of this report.