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Consumer Disputes-know your rights- A look at your rights under Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on the 1 October 2015. The act replaced the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.  It was introduced to ensure that consumers have a clear understanding of their rights when making purchases and businesses have more clarity in respects of their obligations when making sales.

Consumers

Statistics indicate that UK consumers spend on average over £90 billion a month on shopping. It is therefore evident that disputes are bound to occur for various reasons and consequently knowing your consumer rights as well as the remedies available to you is very beneficial.

What should you expect from the product quality?

The act indicates that all products have to match the description provided by the seller, they have to be fit for the purpose specified and they have to be of satisfactory quality.

If you have purchased a product that does not satisfy either one of the three criteria above, there are a number of ways in which you can resolve your issues under the Consumer Rights Act. 

How long should it take for the product to be delivered?

Retailers are normally under an obligation to deliver the goods within a 30-day period of time; unless it is specified in terms or conditions that it will take longer due to the specifics of the product or other reasons. If the product is not delivered on time, you can terminate the purchase and obtain a full refund.   

Unfair terms in contracts

The act has also now specified that any key terms of a contract cannot be hidden amongst the terms and conditions nor included in small print. The act confirms that the main elements of a contract must be outlined and conveyed in a clear and transparent manner in plain and intelligible language.

The act also clarifies that terms of a contract will be deemed unfair if they are contrary to the requirements of good faith or if they provide an unfair advantage to the retailer over the consumer.

How long do you have to return a faulty product?

First 30 days

Under the Act, you are entitled to return the goods you have purchased and get a full refund if they are unfit for their purpose, do not match their description or are of unsatisfactory quality. In order to secure a full refund, you will need to act quickly and proceed with the return of the product as quickly as possible.   Normally, you have 30 days to return the product from the date you take ownership unless the goods are perishable.   After the expiry of the initial 30 days,  the seller normally will not be under legal obligation to provide you with a full refund unless they decide to extend the refund period themselves.

It is important to note that this rule does not apply to products such as downloaded music or games. For such goods, you are entitled to ask for the product to  be repaired or for the price of the product to be discounted.

After 30 days

Once the initial period of 30 days passes, you must give the seller one opportunity to repair or replace the faulty product.  Following this, if the seller has not managed to repair the product or replace the faulty part of the product, you can then claim a refund or if you decide to keep the product, you can ask for a discounted price.

You will also be entitled to either a partial or a full refund for the product if any of the following apply to you:

-the repair of the product would take an unreasonable amount of time

-the repair of the product is not possible

-the repair of the product or its replacement would cause you significant inconvenience

-the cost of the repair would not be worthwhile given the value of the product

What happens if more time has passed since the purchase of the product and your product is faulty?

First six months

If you have purchased the product and you discover there is a fault within the first six months, it is normally assumed that the fault was already there when you purchased the product. This therefore means that the onus is on the seller to prove that the fault was not present when the product was sold to you.

If the seller cannot prove that the fault was not present at the time of you receiving the goods,, you will be entitled to ask them to attempt to rectify the fault or replace the product. If after an attempt to repair the product, the issue could not be resolved, you will have the right to reject the product and ask for a full refund or if you decide to keep the product, you can ask for a price reduction.

Six months or more

If you have had the product for more than six months, the onus will be on you as the consumer to prove that the product sold to you was already faulty. This will normally require expert evidence.  The length of time you will have to make a claim if the retailer refuses to either repair or replace a faulty product is five years.

If you wish to discuss your consumer rights and your individual circumstances, please call our professional and dedicated team of litigation solicitors on 0141 375 1222 or contact us on here. 

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