An individual, rather than a business, who makes a contract with a business. Where a company buys goods, it can still be a consumer if it is acting like an individual and buying goods which are normally for private use.
Case example: R & B Customs Brokers Ltd v UDT (1988)
A freight-loading company bought a car for the Managing Director’s use. It was held that, as the car was not going to be used for an integral part of the company’s business, the company was acting as a consumer; it would have been different if they had bought a fork-lift truck.
Consumers are given protection by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1994 which regulate exclusion clauses imposed by businesses when dealing with consumers. In recognition of the fact that individuals are unable to deal with businesses on equal terms, consumers have been given added protection when buying goods and services under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 .