The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (‘CRA’) was introduced by the government in March 2015 and comes into force today. This Act updates existing law and introduces a series of new consumer protection measures.
Under the Act, there is now a 30 day period to return faulty goods. Previous legislation has been unclear on how long a ‘reasonable’ period is and as to how long consumers have to reject goods. Goods have to be ‘fit for purpose’ and if you discover a fault within 30 days, you are entitled to a full refund. Consumers are able to dispute this if they are not given this option.
There is also now protection regarding digital content purchases. Under previous legislation, consumers were only protected if the digital content was stored on tangible media, such as software on a CD. The new Act provides protection for consumers purchasing digital content online, where the content is defective or is not as it was described. ‘Digital content’ is defined as data produced and supplied in digital form, such as computer games, applications, music, video or texts.
There has been a clear move towards treating the purchase of digital content in the same way to that of physical goods by entrenching the consumer’s three core statutory rights:
- goods to be of satisfactory quality
- fit for purpose
- correspond with the description
Consumers are entitled to have their defective goods repaired or replaced. If this is unsuccessful, consumers can demand their money back in full during the first six months.
The Act also allows consumers to demand that any services provided which are sub-standard are re-done or the price is deducted accordingly. This includes services such as a garage repair or a haircut.
If you need advice on this, or any dispute resolution matter, please contact Mark Fitch at Hatch Brenner on 01603 660811.