When customers buy goods or services, they make a contract with the seller. This is a voluntary agreement that is enforced by law. There are two main types of contracts. Formal Contracts These are in written form, for example a contract for the sale of land or a house. Informal Contracts For example buying a product in a shop. There are three parts that make up a contract (whether formal or informal) 1. Offer and acceptance One party must have offered something and the other party must have accepted it before the contract is valid 2. Consideration.
This is where something is given or received in return for the promise of payment 3. Intention to create a legal partnership For the contract to be valid both the buyer and seller must intend to stick to the agreement and the terms involved, for example, when somebody buys an item from a shop. The Consumer's Association The consumer association tests products to check their quality and standard, and publishes the results in its magazine "which? " the organisation is independent and had quite a significant influence on business and consumers.
Local Consumer Groups These are set up locally and are encourages by the consumers association. Their aim is to encourage members of the public to take an interest in consumer issues and to campaign for improvements to local businesses and/or their products and services. The British Standards Institution (BSI) This is a national organisation that is run independently. It draws up specifications against which it tests products (and sometimes services). A product approved by the BSI is entitled to carry the BSI Kite mark.