Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Consumer Rights Act received Royal Assent in Parliament on 26th March 2015 and will come into force on 1st October 2015. Here’s Everyday Legal’s run-down of some of the key changes and how they’ll affect you and your rights as a consumer.
This Act overhauls consumer protection legislation in the UK and consolidates consumer law found in various different pieces of legislation (including the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977).
Information that traders are already required to provide pre-contract such as to total cost of the product / service supplied will now form part of the contract between the trader and the customer. It will not be possible for the trader to change this information without the customer’s express consent.
Goods Contracts – new statutory rights
A supplier of goods will be in breach of contract where the goods supplied do not match the model shown to the customer UNLESS any differences were highlighted by the trader OR the goods are incorrectly installed as part of the contract by the trader OR the goods include digital content and that has not been supplied as per the contract.
Services Contracts – new statutory rights
Information provided (whether written or orally) by a trader to a customer must be included as a term/terms where the customer has taken it into account when deciding about the service. The trader can still qualify the information and can agree changes to that information with the customer.
New digital download rights
The Act gives customers new rights to a repair, replacement and refund of faulty content eg: online films, games, music, e-books. If the repair isn’t undertaken within a reasonable time frame or the item can’t be replaced the customer is entitled to some money back.
New rights on faulty goods and refunds
Under the new law customers will have the right to a full refund on any item for up to 30 days after purchase. The customer can opt to have a repair or replacement. If the customer opts for a repair or a replacement then the 30 day period stops temporarily until the customer has a satisfactory product. The customer then has 7 days or the remainder of the 30 day period to assess if the repair has been successful.
If a fault is discovered after the 30 days then the customer has the right to a repair or a replacement UNLESS this is not proportionate. If a subsequent fault appears following the repair or replacement then the customer can seek a full or part refund depending on how long they’ve had the product. The trader has one chance to supply a product fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality before they can cancel the contract.
Unless agreed otherwise goods must be delivered without undue delay or no more than 30 days after the date of the contract.
New rights on poorly delivered services
Under the new law if a service isn’t provided with reasonable care and skill customers have the right to ask for the service to be repeated or to get some money back.
Unfair Contract Terms
This new Act replaces and adds to the current rules on unfair terms in consumer contracts. Assessing whether a term is unfair will continue to be based on whether the term causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the customer. This ‘fairness test’ applies to consumer contracts and the courts have a duty to consider the fairness of the terms.
Content correct at time of publication