The Consumer Lawyer

Traders are still flouting the Consumer Rights Act 2015

In October 2015 the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force. This new Act consolidated many previous consumer laws, such as the Sale of Goods Act, into one law and provided greater protections for the consumer. From a huge amount of feedback I have received, it would appear that three years later many traders are either claiming to not know the new (or now not so new) law, or are simply ignoring it. Here’s what readers have been telling me:

Gene from Lancaster purchased a Toyota Yaris from a local garage and after 2 days it transpired that it had a major fault. The garage accepted this but said he was only entitled to a repair.

This was the wrong information.  The Consumer Rights Act says that if goods (including cars) are faulty within the first 30 days of purchase, the consumer is entitled to an automatic refund.

Paul from Devon purchased a sofa and made his decision after seeing the same model in the showroom. When his sofa arrived, it was not the same as the showroom model. The retailer said that it was the ‘revised’ version and that they had fulfilled their contractual obligations.

This was wrong.  The Consumer Rights Act makes is very clear that goods must match a sample shown to the consumer, except to the extent that any differences between the sample and the goods are brought to the consumer’s attention before the contract is made.

Richard from London downloaded a game online. The game kept crashing so he contacted the company that sold it to him online. They told him he had no rights as they had fulfilled their end of the bargain by allowing him to download.

Again, this was the wrong information. The Consumer Rights Act introduced a new concept by providing consumers rights with digital downloads. The basic position is that the quality of the digital content of downloads (such as games) must be satisfactory. Here it clearly wasn’t and so Richard is entitled to a refund.

Much more needs to be done to both educate traders on the Consumer Rights Act, and to enforce its provisions. Shoppers who have problems with this should ask if the retailer is a member of RetailADR or the Furniture Ombudsman.  Both are independent alternative dispute resolution providers who work with many retailers.

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