On the 1 October the new Consumer Rights Act (CRA) came into effect which gave consumers new powers to demand refunds when they buy faulty goods. The new act which embraces everything from online purchases to shop-bought items and consumer contracts for ongoing services, has been described as "the biggest reform to shoppers’ rights in a generation".
So what does this legislation mean for you as a consumer or for your business?
The most significant changes for consumers come in the remedies now available to them. Under “Goods” contracts consumers can now reject products within 30 days, after which they have a right to repair or replace. If that does not solve the complaint then a further right to reject or a price reduction is available. Unsatisfactory “Services” will now be compensated by a tiered approach depending on the severity, including re-performance of the contract or price reduction.
CRA addresses consumer rights by directly addressing digital goods and services supplied under contract, as well as additional free content. Wide reaching protection is provided to compensate for consequential damage to other digital content caused by, for example, corruption of data by viruses.
CRA also increases the scope of protection in relation to unfair contract terms as well as pre-contract information. Further rights are created with regards to competition law infringement and collective actions.
Whilst it will take time for CRA to become embedded and applied, the new legislation strives to strike the correct balance between innovation to meet the challenges of ever-developing technology and consolidating existing consumer rights to meet the demands of an increasingly discerning public.
Commercial clients would be well advised to review their standard documents to ensure compatibility with this new legislation.
For further advice on the CRA and how it may affect your business contact our Corporate & Commercial Team on 01233 664711.
For practical assistance and advice regarding the enforcement of Consumer Rights contact our Dispute Resolution Teamon 01233 664711.
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