The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods. Continued: Section 55: Section 55(3).
In our last blog we looked at Sections 55 (3).
Today we will turn our attention to section 55(4).
Section 55 (4) in its totality reads as follows:
“In determining whether any particular goods satisfied the requirements of subsection (2) or (3), all of the circumstances of the supply of those goods must be considered, including but not limited to- (a) the manner in which, and the purposes for which the goods were marketed, packaged and displayed, the use of any trade description or mark, any instructions for, or warnings with respect to the use of the goods; (b) the range of things that might reasonably be anticipated to be done with or in relation to the goods; and (c) the time when the goods were produced and supplied.”
What does this mean?
As we know by now; a consumer has the right to receive goods that are reasonably suitable for the purposes for which they are generally intended.
Subsection 55 (4) refers to subsections (2) and (3) which as we have seen deal with the quality one can expect from something bought by you and where you make specific reference to what you intend to use them for and the supplier expressly or impliedly confirms the suitability of that intended use. It then goes on to say that amongst other factors those mentioned above under subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) are the important ones taken into consideration in determining whether or not the goods bought are of a sufficiently good quality and fulfil the requirement of subsection (2) and (3).
Let us apply this to an example or a case study.
Once again we will use the purchase of a motor vehicle as an example.
If you buy a second hand car used from a dealer and it is damaged of defective shortly after you buy it then the question arises as to whether or not it passes muster as regards the consumer’s rights in terms of section 55 of the CPA to safe, good quality goods. Section 55 (4) states that in order to answer this factual and legal questions one has to look both at section 55(2) and 55 (3) and also at section 55 (4) which further expands the extent of subsections 55 (2) and (3) and sets out the further factors that must be borne in mind in answering the above question. So In returning to the example of the second hand car; the manner in which it was bought; the purpose for which it was bought; the way it was marketed and displayed, the use of any trade description or advert and any instructions are all borne in mind. Also the range of things it is expected to achieve eg 4×4 driving and the time when the car was produced and supplied are ALL aspects which may be borne in mind when assessing whether or not the car was of good quality and safe.
As we have repeatedly stated previously section 55 creates powerful RIGHTS in the favour of the consumer for the purchase of any item from a supplier.
However those rights must be properly interpreted on the facts of each case in order to enforce your right and determine whether or not you actually have a right against the supplier.
It must be emphasised again that despite the strong wording of this subsection of the CPA; the factual and especially the legal interpretation of any situation between consumer and supplier must always be referred to legal and consumer experts for both advice and also to provide the necessary expert legal services that you require; especially when you are dealing with an item that costs a large sum of money.
You would therefore be strongly advised to contact us, to advise you on these queries or any intervention process you want to initiate; and not to simply attempt to do so on your own. Once again; we must stress that it is always advisable for you, as a consumer, to seek proper, professional legal advice and legal services when dealing with these complex factual and legal issues.
Again; If you have recently experienced difficulties with the purchasing of any goods from a supplier or wish to query their quality or compliance with the CPA; contact The Legal Advice Office at www.legaladviceoffice.co.za or write to one of our email addresses; either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
In our next blog we will look at and clarify section 55(5) and (6).
Should you wish to comment on this or any other legal topic; just send us an e-mail; and we will respond as soon as we can.
The Legal Advice Office Team.