The majority of the provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 come into force on 1 October 2015. The aim of the new law is to clarify consumer rights. To comply with the Act it’s likely that you’ll need to review your Terms and Conditions, returns policy and buying processes to make sure you’re ready. Once you do, it’s a win-win situation as everyone knows where they stand, whether they are a business owner, manager or a consumer.
We’re marketers not lawyers but we’ve picked out these key highlights.
- The information you’re obliged to give consumers before they buy (pre-contract) is now legally binding and goods provided must be the same as any model that the consumer has inspected.
- Consumers now have a new right to reject faulty or mis-described goods within 30 days (not because they don’t like them, but if they’re not up to scratch).
- If goods need to be repaired or replaced, you have just one opportunity to do this and then the consumer can reject the goods.
- There is a new category of consumer rights in respect of digital content such as games and e-books, along with specific rules.
- In addition to consumer contracts, the terms in other consumer notices, such as announcements, mustn’t be unfair.
- The ‘grey list’ of potentially unfair contract terms which must be avoided has now been extended. For example, terms should not allow the seller to decide the nature or price of the product or service after the consumer has already agreed to the purchase.
- In cases of dispute there are new powers of redress which include new rights for private enforcers; changes to the rules on collective consumer actions for breaches of competition law; and also new solutions, for example a legal right to a price reduction when goods, services or digital content don’t tally with the standards/description promised.
You can read more with this quick summary of consumer rights from the Government in conjunction with leading consumer organisations.
Follow this link and scroll down the page for the easy business checklist on the new Act.
We’d recommend you ask a lawyer to advise you about your specific situation. Once you’ve decided on any changes you need to make, we’re here to help you implement them.
For example, Marketing Zone can:
- Help you gain positive PR – if for example your returns policy goes beyond the requirements of the new Act then it’s a newsworthy story.
- Refresh your website – to clearly present your terms, returns policy and so on meeting the requirements for clarity and transparency.
- Redesign printed T&Cs – to ensure a professional presentation of your printed contract terms and enhance your marketing toolkit.
- Update your e-commerce site – to revise any images and descriptions, where they don’t currently reflect the exact products being supplied, to ensure you comply with the law.
- Create PowerPoint presentations and manuals – to ensure your customer service team know, understand and are equipped to implement your policies and procedures.