The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (“Act”) comes into force on 1 October 2015 and is a landmark piece of consumer legislation which consolidates and updates existing consumer legislation. Key changes in the Act relate to unfair terms in consumer contracts, consumer remedies and the enhancement of enforcement powers.
The below table focuses specifically on the new tiered remedies available to consumers in relation to the sale or supply of goods under the Act. It is a high level overview of the remedies only and advice should be sought for more specific and detailed guidance as there are some exceptions. Future articles will focus on other parts of the Act including the new provisions regarding digital content.
- For all remedies, the consumer must be able to show there is fault. The fault needs to be present at the time of delivery.
- For perishable goods, the short term right to reject only lasts for as long as it is reasonable to expect the goods to last.
- If a trader or manufacturer offers a guarantee or warranty (whether free or paid for), this will be in addition to and not replace a consumer’s statutory rights under the Act.
- If a consumer exercises the final right to reject, the trader will usually have to give a full refund. However, If the right is exercised more than 6 months after delivery, the trader can reduce the refund to take into account use the consumer has had. Further, a reduction can be made during the first six months if the goods are a motor vehicle.
- The above remedies are separate and in addition to the 14 day cooling off period for a consumer who buys goods at a distance or off-premises to cancel the contract and get a full refund without proving a defect or fault (subject to some exceptions). A consumer can also bring a claim for damages in addition to or instead of pursuing any of the above remedies although will not be able to recover twice for the same loss.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.