Shoppers who buy digital products will have greater rights if they buy faulty digital downloads, under government plans outlined today.
The government’s draft Consumer Rights Bill will give consumers greater clarity when buying goods, services, and digital products such as film and music downloads, online games and ebooks.
The Bill also aims to clarify information on unfair contract terms, and will give more powers to Trading Standards including the ability to obtain redress to consumers.
Which? welcomes Consumer Rights Bill
Which? welcomes the new Bill and Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘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.’
Launched today by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the measures outlined in the draft Bill are estimated to save consumers and businesses £1.7 billion over the next decade.
Refunds on faulty goods
Under the draft Bill key consumer rights will be consolidated into one place, rather than spread across numerous pieces of legislation as it stands now.
The Bill proposes a set 30-day time period in which consumers can reject faulty goods and get a full refund. Currently there is no set time in which to reject a faulty product.
Beyond 30 days, people will also have the right to get money back after one failed repair to their faulty goods, or if a replacement breaks.
In addition, the Bill will bring existing law into the modern age by including new rights on faulty digital products.
BIS reports that over 16 million people experienced at least one problem with digital content in 2011.
Under the Consumer Rights Bill you’ll now have the right to a repair or replacement on faulty digital products, and if the digital product proves unfixable, you’ll be entitled to a refund or reduction in price.
Find out what you can do currently to get a refund on a digital download.
Unfair contract terms
Another key proposal of the Bill is to reform unfair contract terms legislation. The Bill says that all contract prices must be prominent and transparent, and not hidden in terms and conditions, or in small print.
Examples of this would include bank charges, or early cancellation fees on gym contracts.
Find out how to complain about unfair contract terms.