Which? has welcomed a report from MPs calling for stronger laws to protect consumers when they purchase goods and services.
The BIS Select Committee has listened to many recommendations made by Which? and has identified gaps in the draft Consumer Rights Bill that could mean consumers are left unprotected.
Which? is pleased to see the Select Committee report recommending that consumers be given a refund if they purchase a faulty digital product – such as games, ebooks or music.
The report also recommends that it be harder for companies to make changes to long term contracts, such as changes to mortgage or gym contracts or long term insurance contracts.
Stronger rights for consumers
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘The draft Consumer Rights Bill will bring the law into the 21st century and make it easier for people to understand their rights and challenge bad practice.
‘While there are many welcome measures in the Bill, like reforming the law on unfair terms and conditions, it’s good to see MPs following our recommendations to strengthen it even further.
‘This will be beneficial for consumers and for businesses that try to do the right thing by their customers.’
Consumer Rights Bill
Which? welcomed the draft Consumer Rights Bill when it was first published earlier this year. The Bill will make it clearer for consumers to understand their rights when goods develop a fault.
Currently, you’re entitled to have a product repaired or replaced if it breaks down after 10 months, for instance. But what happens if it breaks again? When can you get your money back?
The new Consumer Rights Bill should clarify this so consumers and retailers know exactly where they stand.
Rights on poor services
The Bill will also make it clearer what you can do if you have poor service from a builder or a plumber and will clarify who’s responsible for putting right shoddy work. The law currently doesn’t do this.
In addition, the Consumer Rights Bill will clarify when you can challenge an unfair term in a contract.
For example, if you mistakenly misspell your name when purchasing airline tickets and are charged an admin fee of £100 to change it, can you challenge this?
Under current law it’s unclear whether this admin fee could be challenged as unfair, however the Consumer Rights Bill should enable such a challenge.