Articles

  • November 2015
    Consumer Rights in the Digital Age


    A new Act of Parliament came into force on 1st October 2015 called the Consumer Rights Act. It seeks to update, consolidate and clarify consumer rights in one comprehensive Act relating to the supply of goods and services.

    It sets out a timetable for consumers’ rights to be exercised including a 30 day right to reject defective products and to get a full refund from the date of purchase . For perishable goods this will be shorter. Outside the 30 day period you have the right to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace the goods. If repair would be too costly the retailer can opt to replace.  If repairs or replacement aren’t appropriate, you can opt for a full or partial refund.

    From 30 days to 6 months after purchase it is presumed that any fault was there from the time of delivery, and it would be for the supplier to prove otherwise.  You can opt for a repair or replacement, and refund if that fails.  A reduced refund may apply to vehicles because of use made during the period.  After 6 months the consumer will have to prove the product was faulty at the time of delivery.

    The Act for the first time specifically covers digital content which must (as with other non-digital products) be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.  You can claim for faulty digital content to be repaired, replaced or refunded.  A consumer can also claim damages against the retailer if the faulty content has damaged other devices or programmes.

    The law relating to Unfair Contract Terms is included in the act and has been updated, making it easier to challenge such terms which lack good faith, hide charges in small print, limit legal rights or inflict excessive termination charges.  There are 20 examples of such terms set out in a schedule to the Act.

    The Act also introduces a duty on letting agents to publicise details of the fees they impose for certain services.

    For further information please contact Paul Stevens by email at paul.stevens@jackamans.co.uk or call 01379 643555.

    This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive.  Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.

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