Consumer Rights Act: first birthday

The Consumer Rights Act came into force one year ago today (1 October 2016) in the biggest shake up of consumer law in a generation.

Replacing eight pieces of dated consumer legislation, the Act clarified the law for both consumers and businesses. It created a specific timeframe of 30 days for consumers to reject a faulty item and get a full refund, while giving new legal rights to consumers downloading music or buying e-books over the internet.

Since October 2015, Citizens Advice recorded 10.5 million visits to its online advice portal from people eager to learn about their new powers over refunds, repairs and replacements of faulty goods.

Examples of your rights under the Act:

  • two weeks after buying a toaster you discover it doesn’t work. As it is less than 30 days old, you can return it to the shop and receive a full refund
  • while getting your hair cut and highlighted, the hairdresser leaves the foils on for too long, damaging your hair. As reasonable care was not taken and the damage cannot be fixed, you are entitled to a full refund
  • you buy a new app to organise your music but a bug in the program deletes the data from your phone. If you can prove the app caused the damage, the designers are liable to repair it (ie recover your music) or pay you compensation

Learn more about your rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

Source: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Companion's guidance on the Act is spread across a number of In-depth Guides: