Today marks the biggest shake up to consumer rights law in decades, with the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 officially coming into force. But what does it mean for you? We take a closer look.
The Consumer Rights Act essentially replaces three key pieces of legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, the Supply of Goods and Services Act, and Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations – and brings them together under one piece of consumer law, with added consumer protection thrown in. It's designed to make things clearer and easier to understand for consumers and retailers alike, and if problems arise, they'll be settled quicker.
The legislation covers what should happen when goods are faulty or there are unfair terms on a contract, what you should do when a business is acting in a way that isn't competitive, what your rights are in terms of product quality and how to make a claim should goods not meet your standards, and that's just for starters. Basically, the Act clarifies what your rights are when it comes to the sale of goods, not only taking legislation from the previous laws, but tightening them as well.
The rules have also been extended, and rather than solely applying to traditional or "standard" goods and services (such as white goods, cars, appliances, etc.), they now include digital content, such as ebooks and music downloads, too. This offers the modern consumer a whole other level of protection, something that they've never had before. Not only that, but the right to a refund for faulty goods has been set at a specific timeframe of 30 days, rather than the "reasonable timeframe" of previous legislation.
Here's a quick overview of some of the key rules and changes that you can look forward to with the new act:
This is just an overview, of course, and there can be variations according to the specific item you purchase (cars, for example, come with slightly different refund rules), but hopefully you've got a better idea of how the new Consumer Credit Act could benefit you. Quite simply, if you're not happy with any goods or services you've purchased, you don't have to put up with it, so get complaining!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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