Shoppers are set to benefit from greater refund rights with the publishing of the Consumer Rights Bill today.
Currently, consumers spend more than 59 million hours a year dealing with goods and services problems which cost them an estimated £3bn a year.
The Consumer Rights Bill will make significant improvements to consumer protection, ensuring consumers have clear paths to redress and are aware of their rights.
These include getting a refund when a product develops a fault, how to deal with sub-standard service, and for the first time, corrupted digital downloads.
Consumer Rights Bill welcomed
Executive director of Which? Richard Lloyd said: ‘The Consumer Rights Bill brings consumer law into the 21st-century, extending rights into digital content for the first time, and making it easier for people to understand their rights and challenge bad practice.
‘This Bill provides a firm foundation for empowering consumers and will benefit businesses that treat their customers fairly.’
New consumer rights
In the Bill consumers will have the right to:
• get some money back after one failed repair of faulty goods (or one faulty replacement)
• demand that substandard services are redone or failing that, get a price reduction
• a set 30 day time period to return faulty goods and get a full refund
• challenge terms and conditions which aren’t fair or are hidden in the small-print: for example airlines charging baggage fees will have to make them really clear when consumers are booking to avoid a legal challenge
The Bill will also give consumers the right to a repair or a replacement of faulty digital content such as film and music downloads, online games and ebooks helping millions people who experience problems each year.
Existing law still applies
The Bill will now begin its Parliamentary passage and is unlikely to become law until 2016 at the earliest.
In the meantime, existing UK law applies. You can find out all you need to know about your consumer rights on our dedicated consumer rights website.