In relation to consumer protection laws, 2015 has been a year of remarkable change. First, the EU Alternative Dispute Directive was brought into force and alongside this the introduction of the Consumer Rights Act.
What is the Consumer Rights Act 2015?
Having come into force from the 1st of October, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaces a number of existing laws (Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Good and Services Act 1982) within the United Kingdom. The act has been introduced in an effort to ease the process of problem resolution between consumers and businesses. The legislation covers;
• The sale and supply of goods
• The supply of services
• Digital content
• Mixed contracts
• Returns policies
• Letting agents – display of fees
• The sale & resale of tickets
• Unfair contract terms
• Trading standards – inspections & powers
What are the key changes that will impact my business?
• A 30-day time period to return faulty goods and get a full refund
• Consumers will have the right to demand that substandard services are rectified or failing that receive a price reduction
• New digital content rights, meaning consumers will be able to get a repair or a replacement of faulty digital content such as online film, games, music downloads and e-books
• Making it easier for consumers to challenge terms and conditions which are not fair or are hidden in the small print
• Businesses getting written notice for routine inspections by public enforcers, such as Trading Standards
• Alternative Dispute Resolution providers will be available to all businesses to help when a dispute cannot be settled directly with the consumer.
For those interest in learning more about this new legislation, please consult the TrustMark Consumer Rights Act guide for information relevant to all traders within the home improvements sector.