The Consumer Rights Act protects you in practically all purchases you make. Here we explain what it implies when buying products or services
Consumer rights act 2015

Act of 2015 Relating to Consumer Rights

When you acquire goods, services, or digital material, the Consumer Rights Act ensures that you are provided with certain protections.

The quality of the product: what can you anticipate?

Under the Consumer Rights Act, just like the Sale of Goods Act, all products are required to have a quality that is “satisfactory,” to be “fit for purpose,” and to be “as stated.”

In accordance with the rules, this definition also encompasses digital content. Therefore, the following criteria must be satisfied by all products, regardless of whether they are physical or digital:

Appropriate to its use The items should be suitable not only for the purpose that they are supplied for, but also for any special purpose that you made known to the retailer before you decided to acquire the goods.
As explained At the time of purchase, you were provided with a description of the items, and any models or samples that were displayed to you must correspond to those goods.
tolerable standards of excellence When you receive your purchase, there should be no defects or damage to the item(s). You need to find out what an average individual would regard to be an acceptable level of quality for the goods in issue. For instance, products that fall into the “cheap bucket” won’t be subjected to the same high standards as luxury goods.

One of the components that contributes to the overall quality of a product is its durability, or more specifically, its longevity.

When determining a product’s durability, several other elements, including the type of product, the reputation of the brand, the price point, and how it is presented, are taken into account. As an illustration, it is quite doubtful that you will be able to argue that a low-cost kettle that stopped working after four years is not durable. On the other hand, a more premium and expensive kettle that has been carefully maintained but has stopped working after 14 months could be judged not to be durable and, as a result, not of quality that is adequate.

Are you returning a product because it was defective?
File a complaint about the faulty items.

You may be eligible for a repair, replacement, or refund. If you answer a few basic questions, Which? will help you start your complaint at no cost.

Who should be the target of your claim?

You have the right to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act if the thing that you purchased does not meet any one of the three conditions that were presented earlier.

You can read our guide if you believe that you have purchased a defective product. In it, we explain what steps you should take and how to file a claim.

If you want to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, you have several possible ways of resolving your issue. These ways vary depending on the circumstances and how you want the retailer to rectify the situation. If you want to make a claim, you must first determine how you want the retailer to fix the problem.

Because the Consumer Rights Act grants you legal recourse only against the retailer – the business that was responsible for your purchase of the item – and not against the manufacturer, you are required to bring any claim against the store.

The amount of time that has gone since you physically obtained custody of the goods influences what kind of claims you are eligible to make.

Who Should You Make a Claim Against According to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015?

Who is James Attew from exactly? According to legal, it is of the utmost importance for you to know the name of the other party with whom you are contracting at the beginning of the contract, where they are based, and what other chances you may have to bring a claim in the event that things go wrong.

If you buy a product from a company, the legal entity that is trading under that business name could be, for example, a sole trader, a partnership, or a company, and your rights under the 2015 Act will be enforceable against that entity. This may sound like a straightforward concept, but it is important to keep in mind.

It is possible that your capacity to file a claim against a trader in the future will be hampered if you make your purchase from a trader who is headquartered outside of the UK.

There are times when these factors are not as straightforward as they may first appear. For instance, if you are purchasing a vehicle through a hire purchase agreement, the financial firm that you enter into a contract with will not be the dealer of the vehicle you are purchasing. In this kind of transaction, the financing company enters into a contract with the dealer for the purchase of the car, and the vehicle is subsequently loaned out to the customer under the terms of a finance agreement in exchange for instalment payments. Therefore, in the event that the car in question contains an innate flaw, the customer has a claim against the lending firm under the terms of the 2015 Act.

You should also keep in mind that, when you pay for goods or services directly to the trader and the cost of these is between £100 and £30,000, if you pay any part of this purchase price on a credit card, then your credit card provider is jointly and severally liable with the trader, should the goods or service that was provided be substandard. This means that if you pay any part of this purchase price on a credit card, then your credit card provider is jointly and severally liable with the trader As a result, you have the authority to file a claim with the credit company in addition to filing a claim with the trader.

How long do you have to return an item if it turns out to be defective?

Depending on how long you’ve owned the product, the Consumer Rights Act grants you the legal right to either seek a refund for goods that are of unacceptable quality, unsuitable for use, or not as represented, or get it fixed. This legal right is contingent on how long you’ve owned the product.

During the first 30 days after purchase, consumers have the right to request a complete refund for products that are deemed to be of unacceptable quality, inappropriate for their intended purpose, or not as advertised.
Within the first thirty to sixty days of ownership, you are required to give the shop one opportunity to either repair or replace the item before requesting a refund.
If you have had the item for more than six months, you are required to give the store one chance to either fix or replace it before you are eligible for a partial refund, and the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that the item is defective.

You have the right to ask the retailer for a repair or replacement during the first thirty days, but the store is not allowed to deny you a refund under any circumstances.

Your right to a refund within the first thirty days does not apply to anything that you have downloaded, such as music, games, or apps that you have purchased. In the event that a digital product develops a flaw, you have the option of requesting that it be repaired or replaced. And if this isn’t possible or doesn’t work, you have the right to request a price reduction, which might be equal to the entire amount that you paid for the item.

The 30-day timeframe is cut in half for perishable items, and the length of time that it covers will be based on how long it was reasonable to expect the goods to be usable. In the event that milk is stored appropriately, for instance, it should be safe to consume until the expiration date printed on the container.

KEY INFORMATION

Assuming responsibility

The timer will begin counting down from the moment you become the legal owner of the goods.

For instance, the day you purchase an item in a store and then take it home with you is the first day on which you are legally entitled to a refund for that item.

However, if you buy it online or in a store and specify that you want it delivered at a later time, the countdown clock won’t begin until the item in question is physically delivered to you.

Be aware that if you specify a safe spot or a neighbour to leave your package and it is left there, it will be presumed that the package has been delivered to you even if you didn’t really get it.

In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you have up to six years from the date of purchase to file a claim with the local small claims court. In Scotland, this time limit is reduced to five years.

You have this amount of time in which to file a claim if a shop refuses to repair or replace a faulty product. This does not mean that a product is required to last for a period of six years, but rather that you have this length of time in which to do so.

Your guaranteed access to free repairs or replacements

You have the option to indicate your preference, but in most cases, the store will select the option that allows them to make the most money or is the least amount of work.

In the event that the goods cannot be fixed or replaced, you have the option of either getting your money back or getting a discount on the purchase price if you still want to keep the item.

After the initial thirty days of ownership, if any of the following conditions are met, you have the option of receiving either a full or partial refund in lieu of a repair or replacement:

a repair or replacement cannot be made because it has been tried and failed; the cost of making the repair or replacement is disproportionately high in comparison to the worth of the products or digital material; or it is simply not practicable.
a repair or replacement will cause you substantial inconvenience
It will take an unreasonable length of time to repair or replace whatever needs to be fixed.

In the event that a repair or replacement cannot be provided, an attempt at repair is unsuccessful, or the initial replacement is also found to be defective, you have the option to reject the goods and receive a full refund.

You have the right to request additional attempts at a repair or replacement from the store, even if you do not want a refund but do want your product repaired or replaced. If you do not want a refund but do want your product repaired or replaced, you have this right.

If you find the problem during the first six months of owning the product, it will be believed to have been there ever since you purchased it, unless the store can prove otherwise.

During the first six months after an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement, the store is not permitted to remove any fees from the amount that they are required to reimburse to you.

The one and only exception to this rule is in the case of motor vehicles; after the initial 30 days, the shop may offer you a discount that is proportionate to the amount of use you’ve already had of the vehicle.

If a problem arises with the goods after the first six months of ownership, the onus of proof is on you to demonstrate that the product already had a problem when you bought it.

In actual fact, this may necessitate some type of expert assessment or opinion, as well as evidence of comparable issues across the product range.

KEY INFORMATION

Useful links
This is our guide to what you can do in the event that you have a defective product.
Helpful suggestions on what to do in the event that your digital content is broken
If you’ve purchased a used vehicle, familiarise yourself with your legal protections.
Find out how to object to a provision in a contract that is unreasonable.
Digital content

“data that are produced and distributed in digital form” is how the Consumer Rights Act characterises the definition of “digital content.” Or, to put it another way:

Any digital content that you have purchased, whether with real money, a gift card, or credits, is considered paid content.
Any digital content that you can download or stream for free, but only if you purchase certain products, services, or other digital content. For instance, in order to access content from a subscription-based online streaming service, you will need to download a specific app onto your mobile device.
Any free digital content that is provided alongside products, services, or other forms of digital content for which you have paid a price. Take, as an illustration, a smart TV or any other gadget that comes with pre-installed digital content.

Just like things, digital content must be:

acceptable in quality and suitable for use in accordance with the requirements outlined by the vendor.

If the digital content you’ve purchased does not meet these standards, you have the right to have it fixed or replaced, depending on which option is more convenient for you.

However, if a repair or replacement is either not possible or does not resolve the issue, you have the option of requesting a price reduction. This can be anywhere from 50 percent to one hundred percent of the cost of the digital content.

If any of the digital material or devices that you own are harmed as a direct result of the flawed digital content that you downloaded, the store is obligated to provide you with monetary compensation.

This rule applies in situations where the damage in question would not have occurred if the provider of the digital content had shown “reasonable care and competence” in doing their job, and it does not matter whether or not the content in question was given out for free.

KEY INFORMATION

Merchandise that includes a digital component

You do have the legal right to return and receive a refund on products that contain a digital component, such as a smart TV or digital content that is delivered in a physical form. This right lasts for a period of thirty days after delivery.

This entitlement applies in the event that any component of the product, including the digital element – for instance, the software on your smart TV – fails to function as intended or develops a defect in some way.

The rights of delivery

The retailer is responsible for the products up until the moment at which they are physically in your hands, in the possession of someone else who you have designated to accept them, or delivered to the location that you have designated as a secure area.

This is due to the fact that the contract you are bound by is with the store from whom you purchased the items.

Even if you believe the delay is the result of bad service provided by the courier, you should direct your complaint toward the store in the event that your items have not yet been delivered and you wish to lodge a complaint about the situation.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having your package stolen, the merchant or the courier’s ability to enforce your legal rights will rely on whether or not you gave them permission to leave your package there.

The following are some examples of granting permission:

By selecting the option on the online store’s website, you are confirming that you are content for the merchant to leave your products with the neighbour you have designated in the event that you are not home to receive them. After that, you will typically be required to provide the shop with some fundamental information regarding your designated neighbour, so that the latter may instruct the courier where to deposit your products. (For example, Mrs. C. Jones who lives at number 48.)
You are responding to an email from the courier that says, “Sorry we missed you,” confirming that you are okay with the courier leaving your items in your “safe spot” when they attempt to redeliver the goods tomorrow. After that, you will often provide the courier with some fundamental details regarding your secure spot in order to let them know where it is OK for them to leave your products. (For example, behind the large blue flower pot that is located all the way around the back of the house.)

Please refer to our delivery rights instructions for additional advice on what to do in the event that something goes wrong, including what to do in the event that your online order has not arrived.

Late deliveries

If a longer delivery period has not been agreed upon, there is a default delivery period of 30 days, during which the store is required to deliver the product.

You have the following options available to you in the event that the retailer does not deliver the goods within the allotted thirty days or on the date that was previously agreed upon:

If the delivery of your order is delayed beyond what was agreed upon, and it was absolutely necessary that it be delivered on time, then you have the right to cancel the purchase and receive a full refund.
In the event that the delivery is not time-sensitive, but another reasonable delivery time cannot be agreed upon, you are within your legal rights to cancel the order and receive a complete refund if you do so.
The provision of a service

The phrase “service” refers to a wide range of activities, such as large-scale and small-scale work that you may have performed in your own house or elsewhere.

You are required to sign into a contract for each service you receive, ranging from a simple haircut to the installation of solar panels, from a little repair job on a car in which there are no written instructions to large building work.

Services can be rendered all by themselves, or they can be rendered in conjunction with the delivery of goods; one example of the latter would be the installation of a brand new kitchen.

KEY INFORMATION

What exactly is a service?

The following are some examples of services supplied in lieu of goods:

services such as dry cleaning, entertainment, work done by experts such as solicitors, estate agents, and accountants, as well as construction or home improvement work (if you bought the materials and the builder used those).

Some examples of services that come packaged with commodities include the following:

repairs to goods that include the replacement of parts, such as car repairs
kitchens and bathrooms that have been fitted.
house upgrades that include work on the construction and decoration of the home (if the builder supplied their own materials)
double glazing

In the event that you have a contract for any of the aforementioned services, the Consumer Rights Act outlines the minimum requirements that are applicable to the service as well as the remedies that are available in the event that the trader fails to meet these requirements.

The following are some of the minimum standards that apply:

The provider of the service must exercise a level of care and competence that is commensurate with the circumstances.
When a consumer places their trust in verbal or written information, the information becomes legally binding.
In situations where the price has not been settled on in advance, the service must be delivered at a price that is fair.
The need to carry out the service within a reasonable amount of time applies even if a specific timeframe for carrying out the service is not specified or agreed upon.

If the service that is supplied to you does not meet these standards, you have the right, in accordance with the Consumer Rights Act, to request one of the following types of redress:

The business owner is obligated to either recreate the portion of the service that was performed improperly or do the entire service once more at no additional expense to you, within a reasonable amount of time, and without causing you a significant amount of trouble.
You have the option of requesting a price reduction instead in the event that the repeat performance is either impossible, cannot be done within a reasonable amount of time, or cannot be done without causing severe trouble. This might be up to 100 percent of the cost, depending on how severe the faults are, and the merchant is required to refund you within 14 days of agreeing that you are entitled to a refund after agreeing that you are entitled to a refund.

KEY INFORMATION

Providing a service in the field of travel

After October 1, 2016, if you pay to travel by train, coach, or ferry, you are purchasing a service, and the service must be supplied with a level of care and skill that is acceptable given the circumstances.

If the quality of the service you have received is much lower than the standard you had anticipated, you may have the right to request a full or partial refund. You can also claim for consequential damages.

If your train, coach, or ferry ride was given without the appropriate level of reasonable care and competence, you can use our guidance to file a claim for a refund or compensation.

Unfair contract clauses

The Consumer Rights Act gives you certain rights that make it simpler to contest covert fees and costs.

It is impossible to determine whether or not the terms of a contract are fair if they are not both prominent and transparent. Learn more by reading our comprehensive guide on how to challenge unfair provisions in contracts.

KEY INFORMATION

Unfair conditions

The following are some instances of words that, according to the Consumer Rights Act, may be considered unfair:

fees and charges concealed in the fine text of the agreement
things like disproportionate default fines and excessive early termination fees are examples of things that try to limit your legal rights.

You should file a complaint with the trader if you believe that one of the terms of the contract is unfair.

Before violating the terms of the contract, it is strongly suggested that you consult an attorney in the event that the trader objects.

You always have the option to take the merchant to court, where the judge will evaluate whether or not a certain term is unreasonable.

If the court judges that one of the clauses in your contract is unfair, you might be entitled to ignore that clause or even get out of the agreement without having to pay the penalty normally associated with breaking a contract.