Biggest Overhaul of Consumer Rights in a Generation

Biggest Overhaul of Consumer Rights in a Generation

Consumer Rights Act 2015 has been given Royal Assent.

Under the Act, consumers and businesses will have clearer rights and responsibilities. These include:

  • new rights for consumers to get a repair or a replacement of faulty digital content such as online film, games, music downloads and e-books. Currently the law is unclear and has failed to keep up with the huge demand for digital products
  • consumers having a clear right to demand that substandard services are redone or failing that receive a price reduction
  • a 30-day time period to return faulty goods and get a full refund. The law is currently unclear on how long this period should last
  • consumers being entitled to some money back after one failed repair of faulty goods (or one faulty replacement) even if more than 30 days have passed, rather than having to put up with repeated attempts to get a repair done
  • consumers being able to challenge terms and conditions which are not fair or are hidden in the small print

s300_department-for-business-innovation-skillsMeasures have been included in the Act to specifically reduce the burdens to businesses of understanding and applying consumer law.

These include:

  • a new requirement for enforcers such as Trading Standards Officers to give 48 hours’ notice to businesses when carrying out routine inspections, saving business £4.1 million per year. Trading Standards Officers will still be able to carry out unannounced inspections where they suspect illegal activity
  • faster and lower cost remedies for businesses who have been disadvantaged from breaches in competition law

All businesses will need to consider providing staff training to ensure the new rules are properly understood and implemented and existing terms and conditions may need to be amended.

For further help or advice our Business Advice team may be able to assist, give us a call on 01372 371737