Proposed Consumer Law Changes

Last month the government unveiled the draft Consumers Rights Bill with the intention of simplifying consumer law. The draft brings together different overlapping areas from 8 different pieces of legislation into one, streamlined consumer Bill. As well as bringing together current pieces of legislation, the Bill will also introduce new rights for both consumers and businesses.
Under the draft Bill consumers will have the right to:

  1. receive  money back after one failed repair of faulty goods (or one faulty replacement)
  2. demand that substandard services are redone or failing that, a price reduction
  3. receive a repair or a replacement of faulty digital content such as film and music downloads, online games and e-books.

 

The draft Bill also proposes a set 30 day time period for when consumers can return faulty goods and receive a full refund.
For more detailed information on the proposed changes, consumers can visit the Business Department’s website where the proposed changes have been split into three categories:

 
Rights under the draft Bill when acquiring goods
Rights under the draft Bill when acquiring services
Rights under the draft Bill when purchasing digital content (for example e-books or content within online games)

 

The Bill has been developed with input from consumer groups, business groups and enforcement bodies. Which? Executive Director, Richard Lloyd, commented:
“The new Bill of Rights will bring consumer law into the 21st century at last, making it easier for everyone to know their rights and giving people more power to challenge bad practices. There are many welcome measures in the Bill, including reforming the law on unfair terms and conditions and giving consumers clear rights when digital downloads go wrong. This will be good for consumers and good for businesses that try to do the right thing by their customers.”
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills also expect the Bill to benefit businesses by providing a clearer set of obligations for businesses to operate by, thus saving them time.
 
The Bill is expected to become law in 2014.