This is a question which the Consumer Rights Bill 2014 seeks to make clearer and hopefully easier to answer.
One of the real difficulties when it comes to consumer rights in particular is that the law as it stands is a patchwork quilt of well-meaning legislation which has been implemented at different times and possibly in response to different situations.
The difficulty with this is that whilst each law on its own might make sense, some legal situations call for a knowledge of various bits of the law and the overlap as well as the sheer breadth of the different pieces of legislation can potentially lead to confusion. With this in mind, the new Consumer Rights Bill may well help to make things more clear.
One of the big things that the Consumer Rights Bill does is to set out a consumer’s rights where they have bought something which is faulty or not as agreed. For example, it sets out a legal right to reject the good within thirty days. Subject to certain limits, there is also a legal right to insist that the good is repaired or replaced. Finally, there is a legal right to a price reduction or a final right to reject.
The Consumer Rights Bill also deals with various rights in relation to digital products and even payment through digital currencies and it should all be particularly welcome. You see, the law generally adapts slowly to technological change on a case by case basis but when that change has been as fast as it has in recent years, bringing clarity can only be a good thing.
Among other things there are also provisions set out in relation to services and a consolidation of provisions for unfair terms.
The Consumer Rights Bill is set to come into force in October 2015 and whilst you still can’t pretend that consumer law will be utterly straightforward after that, the new Bill will at least help to reduce confusion. Hopefully, it will also empower consumers to read up on their legal rights a little more and to exercise them when the need arises.
Beyond that, the added clarity may also help businesses to streamline their customer services and maybe even to reduce the possibility of disputes even happening in the first place.
By Chris Stevenson