Changes to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 for Ecommerce

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October 15, 2015 10:28 am | Published by Tieece Gordon

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The recent changes regarding consumer laws have been pretty well documented. Various media outlets have covered the legislation and news of the changes are being passed on by word of mouth.

October 1st witnessed the implementation of new consumer protection measures that hand a wealth of benefits to customers. Existing rules and regulation have become a lot clearer and understandable. The update to the Consumer Rights Act brings with them key changes to ecommerce businesses and consumers.

Standard physical goods have seen changes made:

  • Customers are now entitled to a full refund against a faulty product within a 30 day period. Many companies were previously operating under their own individual returns policies. This new law ensures that all consumers are happy with their purchases and should drive up customer satisfaction.
  • Under the new law changes, a vendor has only one chance to repair or replace any faulty goods. If there are no inroads made and products are still deemed faulty, a full refund can be requested by the customer.
  • Online sellers providing second-hand and used goods, even on auction sites, are answerable to the legislation changes, which will impact eBay sellers and other market place, ecommerce retailers.

This differs slightly in digital content:

  • There is no right of rejection when it comes to digital content however. It is impossible to return content and it doesn’t have to be deleted from a device.
  • Digital content that is sold must meet quality standards. A trader can be asked to repeat the sale if standards are deemed subpar. Digital content traders can have more than one attempt at rectifying digital content issues after the 30 day period.
  • A vendor selling digital content that is responsible for damaging a device can be asked to foot the bill for repairs or replace goods that have been impaired as a direct result of faulty downloads and software, regardless of the cost of the content. This change to the legislation may prove to be difficult for end users to prove, but in theory gives them improved statutory rights where proof can be provided.

If there is not a price clearly stated or agreed, only a suitable fee may be charged for any products. Substandard services can give the customer the right to repeat services and claim reductions, refunds and even compensation.

The Consumer Rights Act does not cover business to business transactions as it focuses on consumers primarily. There may be situations where business to business purchases may be used for personal reasons and therefore may be considered eligible for the changes.

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is available in full, along with many questions and answers for consumers and retailers on the Citizens Advice website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-citizens-advice-works/citizens-advice-consumer-work/the-consumer-rights-act-2015/

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