Consumer Rights Act 2015
08 October 2015, David Owen, Senior Communications Executive
On 1st October 2015 the Consumer Rights Act came into force. The Act gives consumers new legal rights regarding digital content and makes the law clearer and easier to understand as it streamlines eight pieces of legislation into one.
Who does it affect?
The new Act is relevant to all consumers and every business directly selling to consumers.
Protection for consumers of digital content
With £2.8 billion spent on downloaded music, video and games in the UK in 2014, up 18% from the previous year, the new rights provide greater clarity for businesses and more protection for consumers of digital content as set out below.
Some of the key changes include:
- Consumers’ right to repair or replacement of faulty digital content such as films, games and music downloads.
- A 30 day period for consumers to return faulty goods and get a full refund.
- After 30 days, retailers have one opportunity to repair or replace any goods and the consumer can choose whether they want the goods to be repaired or replaced.
- Clear rules for what should happen if a service is not carried out with reasonable care and skill.
- Consumers being able to challenge terms and conditions which are not fair or hidden in small print.
Things to consider for PRS and consumers
We would encourage providers of premium rate services to look at their complaint handing processes, in light of the Act and by way of good practice, to make sure consumers are being offered the best service possible.
Further information to help businesses understand the changes can be found online including via the Business Companion website.
Consumers can find out more information on the Citizens Advice website.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
The new Act makes it easier for disputes to be settled between consumers and businesses.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers may be able to help when a dispute cannot be settled. The two providers approved by Ofcom to offer ADR services to the premium rate services industry are:
Further information on ADR can be found in our Information Note on ADR.