There have been recent changes to the Consumer Rights Acts 2015 which replaced three big pieces of consumer legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

The Consumer Rights Act introduces:

  • 30 days to get a refund.  This is the first time a specific framework has been created in which you can reject a faulty item and get a refund, e.g. goods are of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.
  • A tiered remedy system. This sets out rights to a refund depending on how long you’ve owned the product, e.g. you are outside the 30 day right to reject.  If you discover a fault within the first 6 months from purchase, it is presumed to be there since the time of purchase unless the retailer can prove otherwise.
    • Failed repairs –

    • After one failed attempt by the retailer to repair or replace the faulty item, you’re entitled to ask for a refund or price reduction.
    • A second repair or replacement.

    • If you don’t want a refund or price reduction, you have the right to ask to request another repair or replacement at no cost to you.
    • Deductions from refund.

    • No deductions can be made from a refund in the first six months of purchase (with the exception of motor vehicles where a reasonable reduction may be made for the use you’ve had of the vehicle).
    • Digital Content Rights.

    • This gives consumers rights in relation to online digital content supplied free with other paid for items and digital content supplied on a physical medium, such as a DVD.
    • Unfair terms in consumer contracts.

    • It will now be easier for consumers to challenge hidden fees and charges.  Now the key terms of a contract, including price, may be assessed for fairness unless they’re both prominent and transparent.
    • Pre-contract information.

    • The Consumer Rights Act states that if a retailer provides pre-contract information in relation to a service and you take this information into account, the service must comply with that information.
    • Delivery rights.

    • The retailer is responsible for goods until they are in your physical possession or someone appointed to accept them.  There is a default delivery period of 30 days during which the retailer needs to deliver unless a longer period has been agreed.  If the retailer fails to deliver within the 30 days or agreed date the consumer has the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund if they can prove it was essential that it was delivered on time.  If it isn’t time essential but another reasonable delivery time can’t be agreed the consumer also has the right to cancel the order for a full refund.
    • Contracts for services which can include double glazing .

    • This includes the following: the trader must perform the service with reasonable care and skill, information which is said or written is binding where the consumer relies on it, the service must be provided for a reasonable price and must be carried out in a reasonable time.
    • Remedies for Contracts for services;

    • The trader should either redo the element of the service which is inadequate or perform the whole service again at no extra cost within a reasonable time and without causing significant inconvenience or where repeat performance is impossible or can’t be done in a reasonable time a price reduction can be claimed.
    • Terms of contracts;

    • may be deemed unfair if they are contrary to the requirements of good faith – meaning they must be designed, negotiated and entered into with the consumer in a fair and open way, or they cause a significant imbalance between the rights of the retailer and the consumer to the detriment of the consumer.
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