Planning a shopping spree on Black Friday to get ahead with your Christmas preparations? Make sure you know your rights in case you are sold a faulty product – those rights are covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (the Act).
The Consumer Rights Act 2015
The Act came in to force on 1 October 2015 and represented a major overhaul of consumer law since the 1970s. It consolidated and expanded on existing consumer rights and remedies relating to goods, digital content, services and unfair terms in consumer contracts. The Act can potentially cover all contracts for the supply of goods by a trader to consumers, as ‘goods’ and ‘consumer’ are described broadly under the Act. ‘Goods’ are described as any tangible moveable items, including digital content (see below) and ‘consumer’ is described as an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession.
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How the Act can protect you
The key provisions of the Act which could be important to you once you’ve taken your shopping home are that goods must:
- be of satisfactory quality and fit for purpose
- match their description
- match a sample or model that is seen or examined by the consumer.
If what you have bought does not meet these standards, you have the right to reject the goods within 30 days of purchase and claim a full refund. A purchase on Black Friday will allow you to claim a full refund for a faulty product until 29 December, allowing any faulty gifts opened on Christmas Day to benefit from this remedy.
If you fail to claim the full refund within 30 days, then the retailer has the option of repairing or replacing the product that is in breach of any of the above-implied conditions. If repair or replacement is not possible, you can either claim a full refund or, if you want to keep the product, a price reduction. Where goods have been installed incorrectly, you have the same rights as those for defective/non-conforming goods.
What about digital content?
Digital content is protected, as the Act applies to all suppliers of digital content which will cover apps, music, e-books, games, movies, software, videos etc. Consumers are protected regardless of whether money changed hands, goods are provided for free with other paid goods or purchased by way of vouchers. The Act also protects consumers where consumers acquire goods under a contract which causes damage to their device. Digital content falls under the definition of ‘goods’ as ‘data which is produced and supplied in digital format.’
In relation to remedies afforded to defective digital content, consumers will have the right to a refund only if the trader is in breach of providing the digital content to the consumer. For other breaches, consumers have the right to repair and replacement of faulty goods as outlined above.