On the 1st of October the new Consumer Rights Act came into force. The new Act replaces three major pieces of consumer law - but what does this mean for you, the consumer? Barbara Davies - a Senior Consumer Advice Caseworker at QualitySolicitors Devonalds - gives her thoughts on the new Act and outlines some of the changes it brings:
The Consumer Rights Act is in place to protect the consumer. The law is now clearer and easier to understand, meaning consumers can buy and businesses can sell to them with confidence.
The impact of the new Act is huge: for the first time you have the legal right to ask for repairs, replacements or refunds if digital products such as online films, games and music downloads don’t work. With more than £2.8 billion spent by on digital goods last year this is a vital update making it easier for you to shop with confidence.
Another change is the new 30 day time period you have to return faulty goods and get a full refund. Until now the law was unclear on how long this period should last allowing businesses room to wiggle out of giving money back.
After these 30 days retailers have one opportunity to either repair or replace any goods depending on what you want – if this doesn’t happen, you can claim a refund or, if you wish to keep the product, a price reduction. With the Christmas period approaching fast this will help ease many people’s minds when buying presents for their friends and family!
If you are worried about the small print, now you can challenge terms and conditions, which you feel are not fair or hidden within the small print. Also for the first time there are clear rules for what should happen if you receive bad service - the provider will have to put the service right in line with what was agreed with you or they must give some money back.
It’s natural that you may still have questions or need more support around your consumer rights. More information can be found on the Citizens Advice website, or at QualitySolicitors we offer Free First Advice if you want to discuss any issue.