What is the Consumer Rights Act 2015?
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is not a new law despite its name. Instead, it is a consolidation of existing consumer protection law legislation. This means you will have more rights under this new law.
Cancellation of purchases
Among the many things that the Consumer Rights Act 2015 aims to do is protect consumers from faulty goods and poor service. In some cases, this can mean the right to get a price reduction for an item that has been faulty. It can also give a consumer the right to claim a refund.
For example, a consumer may have purchased a product online and want to return it. The trader can be held responsible for breaching the Consumer Rights Act if the trader does not offer a return policy. This is because the trader has to ensure that the goods are appropriate for the purpose they were purchased for.
There is a 14-day cooling-off period for consumers who purchase goods online. This gives the consumer time to reconsider the purchase. This does not require a reason to be given, and there is no obligation to pay for a return.
When the trader fails to meet the quality requirement, the consumer can choose between a price reduction or a replacement. The refund will depend on the severity of the breach. The consumer can claim a refund of up to 100% of the cost of the product. However, the refund will be reduced if the consumer has used the item.
Goods sold under the Sale of Goods Act
Generally, this Act is applied to contracts of sale made after 1 January 1894. Specifically, it deals with contracts where the property in goods is transferred for monetary consideration. It does not apply to contracts where the property is transferred in connection with a secure transaction. It also does not repeal the statutes regulating sales to consumers, farmers, and other specified classes of buyers.
A contract of sale is an agreement between a seller and a buyer to sell goods. Typically, the contract will contain quality specifications and an implied obligation to sell goods of satisfactory quality. The quality specifications make the sale of goods a sale of goods under the Sale of Goods Act.
The specific terms of the transaction include the price, quantity, delivery method, and availability of the item. If the goods are not available, the buyer may claim compensation. In addition, the seller is obligated to repair or replace faulty goods.
Until the Consumer Rights Act, 2015 was passed, the law around the sale and supply of digital content was largely unclear. While there were some remedies for non-conforming goods, there was no clear understanding of how to treat digital content.
The Consumer Rights Act provides several statutory rights for digital content. This includes a right to repair, price reduction, and refund. These are similar to the rights of consumers for faulty goods. However, there are some critical differences between the two.
In the case of non-conforming digital content, the consumer can request a repair or a replacement. The trader must provide a repair or replacement without significant inconvenience. The trader may not be able to repair or replace the digital content more than a set number of times.
The consumer can also ask the trader to reduce the price of non-conforming digital content. The trader must do this within a reasonable time. The amount of the price reduction is determined by several factors.
Unfair terms in consumer contracts
Terms and conditions are set out in a consumer contract and define what the buyer expects the seller to do and what they agree to do. Unfortunately, these terms are often drawn up before the consumer enters into the contract. A poorly drawn period does not define what service or product it is describing, but instead gives the supplier an advantage over the consumer.
The law defines an unfair term as one that puts a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties. This includes terms that are not individually negotiated and are not subject to fairness testing. The Regulations also list an indicative list of terms that may be considered unfair. The definition of an unfair term is not limited to the primary subject matter of the contract, but a term’s effect on the adequacy of the price or exchange will not be considered.
An authorized body can apply to a court for a declaration that a term is unfair. Injunctions can also be sought by the Competition Commission, which can ask a court to prevent a term from being used.