The Provision of Services Regulations 2009 apply to most businesses that provide some form of service to another company or individual in exchange for payment.
This applies to consultants, accountants, lawyers, estate agents, restaurants, travel agents, child minders, plumbers, mechanics, driving instructors and cleaners.
- businesses in the financial services sector,
- transport providers,
- temporary work agencies,
- healthcare services,
- audio visual services,
- gambling businesses,
- private security, and
- some social services providers.
The regulations don’t apply to the manufacture or sale of goods which means most pure retail businesses are exempt. However retailers that also provide a service are covered.
If a business is covered it must make certain information available to clients including:
- Name of the business
- Legal status of business (e.g. Sole trader, limited company, Plc etc)
- Address and details of how they can be contacted and communicated with directly
- Details of any trade registers or professional bodies they are registered with (e.g. the Information Commissioner)
This information must be accessible and must:
- be given out when asked for, or
- available where the service is provided, or
- included in any documents are handed out (contracts or details of the service), or
- displayed on a website.
Customers must also be given details of where they can make a complaint including a telephone number and at least one of the following:
- a postal address,
- an email address,
- a fax number.
Any complaints must be responded to in a reasonable amount of time with the best possible solution.
Businesses are also prohibited from refusing to provide services on the grounds of a customer’s location unless they can justify this with ‘objective criteria’ such as the extra costs involved in providing a service that is too far from the business base.
One way to comply is to make the information available on a page on a website and proactively give the link to customers.
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