What the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

What happens where both goods and services are provided?
Prior to the implementation of the CRA 2015, it was not easy to discern and differentiate between a goods contract and, for example, a services contract as the law was still dubious on that matter. In order to be classified under the goods contract, it had to comply with the definition provided in section 2 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, or else the consumer was not protected. As a consequence, the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 was introduced in order to grant consumers similar protection in situations where there was a transfer of goods aside from one covered by the SoGA and for services.
Having said that, the main concern lies where both goods and services are provided, where it is not clear cut whether the transaction is a sale of goods, transfer of goods, or services. Although the implication of this mix-up may not be significant in a lot of cases, in some situations, a consumer may find himself without protection or with limited protection under one provision than another, underlining the legal complexities a consumer might face.
For instance, where a transfer of goods is expected to be installed by a service provider, it will be protected by the Sale of Goods and Services Act 1982 implied terms as to sale by description and satisfactory quality, both being a strict liability in case of nonconformity. As far as installation is not complete, the property in those goods does not transfer to the consumer. Hence, the consumer will be entitled to a remedy on the occasion that the installation turns out to be faulty. Nonetheless, in the case of a service contract, it is enough for the service provider to exercise reasonableness in carrying out their duty. Thus, as far as they are not negligent in the installation, i.e., because they follow the manufacturer’s instructions, the consumer is deprived of any type of remedy. One had to look at the substance of the contract in order to determine whether it was a goods or services contract as there was no clear test, as held in Robinson v Graves. Problems with this test are that it omits to provide a test for a contract for the supply of a pure service and that it remains vague and uncertain on how it should be applied. The test forgets to indicate when a contract will be one for a pure service, thus one has to insert a presumption that a contract is one for the supply of a pure service where its substance is only for the supply of some skill and work.
Section 5 of the CRA 2015 attempts to deal with this problems, but only to a certain extent. The sale of goods and transfer of goods, including manufactured goods, are to be regarded as supply contracts, suggesting that consumers now have the protection of those implied terms with strict liability. Accordingly, manufactured goods would no longer be subject to a test of substance in order to determine whether it is one for goods or services. Be that as it may, the Act does not go any further in rectifying that problem. It appears that where both goods and services are provided, the consumer will still have to rely on the substance test to figure out what their rights are. Inasmuch as they are in a better place to assess and examine the goods they purchase from a manufacturer, concerning quality or whether it is fit for purpose, the justification that it might be unjust to burden sellers with strict liability for products they did not manufacture seems unreasonable. Along with the fact that section 48 of the CRA 2015 fails to offer any definition for what a services contract is, it appears that the Act has missed a chance to fully straighten out and clear up this complexity.