Until now, consumer law in the UK has been a patchwork consisting of more than 100 separate pieces of legislation. From individual consumers to traders and their lawyers, this has often been a source of inconvenience and headaches. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has been created, in no small way, to help relieve this issue.
The Act consolidates many important aspects of consumer protection legislation, bringing them all together in one, modern Act that has been written in a way that is easier to understand for all concerned. The provisions designed to cover most consumer transactions come into force on 1st October and here at Simply-Docs we have been working to ensure that our business-to-consumer templates are all compatible with the new legislation.
What Changes Does the Consumer Rights Act Bring?
In many cases the law remains as it did before. For the most part, if you were complying with the law before, you will be now. There are, however, some new provisions as well as some important clarifications.
Most important are new provisions for remedies where traders have failed to provide services with reasonable skill and care. Digital content also makes its debut appearance, taking on very similar standards and remedies to those already applied to goods.
Key changes implemented by the Consumer Rights Act include:
• Goods must conform with any model shown to the customer by the trader (unless differences have been made known).
• The previously “reasonable period” short-term right to reject goods now has a 30 day limit stamped on it (save for some exceptions concerning perishable goods).
• If a consumer chooses to have non-conforming goods repaired or replaced, the trader now only has one opportunity to do one of these before the consumer has the right to reject the goods.
• Digital content must conform with implied terms introduced by the Act and consumers are given new remedies where such content fails to do so.
• Mixed contracts for the supply of digital content and goods are covered with greater clarity.
• New remedies, including repeat performance and price reductions, are introduced for services that do not conform with the contract.
• Pre-contract information will now form contractually-binding terms.
• Unfair contract terms are brought into the fold, with an updated “grey-list” of potentially unfair terms, helping traders to ensure that the balance between their rights and obligations, and those of the consumer, remains fair to the consumer.
How Will This Affect Me?
Our business-to-consumer templates have all been reviewed and, where necessary, updated to ensure compatibility with the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and to help you comply with the new provisions. These templates will be live on the Simply-Docs website from 1st October. To find out if any of your templates have been affected, simply visit My Account and check your Updated Documents at any time as of this date.
The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute
legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific