New rights for customers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015

The new Consumer Rights Act came into force on 1st October bringing a raft of changes and making it easier for shoppers who receive faulty goods or bad service to get satisfaction. It also gives on-line customers new legal rights.

The Act covers:

  • what should happen if you receive faulty goods
  • unfair contract terms
  • services should adhere to what has been agreed and what will happen if they don’t, or when they are not provided with reasonable skill and care
  • businesses that don’t act competitively
  • written notice for routine inspection by Trading Standards
  • more flexibility for Trading Standards to respond to breaches of consumer law allowing them to seek redress for customers who have suffered harm

Most of these changes were updates to existing laws, but two new areas of law were introduced:

  • consumer rights on digital content
  • a right to the repair or replacement of faulty digital content, for example films and games, e-books and music downloads.

Michelle Hayter is a Partner with vast Dispute Resolution experience. She explains “There are new rules for what should happen if a service is not provided with reasonable care and skill or as agreed. The business that provided the service must bring it up to the standard that was agreed with the customer, or give financial recompense. Every UK customer will be entitled to a 30 day refund.”

Michelle goes on to explain some alternative routes for businesses to consider when a dispute with a consumer cannot be settled directly. “Alternative Dispute Resolution is now available to all businesses; prior to this Act it had only been available in certain sectors. A business which is involved in a dispute will now have to make the consumer aware of a relevant certified Alternative Dispute Resolution provider.”

Our Dispute Resolution team, based in Christchurch, also cover Bournemouth, Poole and the New Forest. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Michelle or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.