New consumer laws for businesses

The main parts of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 come into force from 1 October and laws governing businesses that sell direct to consumers will change.

Businesses must adapt to the changes by reviewing their returns and complaints policies, checking their terms and conditions are compliant and training staff.

Business Companion is a government-sponsored website that provides free information and guidance to help businesses comply with all trading standards law and it has been updated in light of the new legislation.

Key changes include: the time period to return faulty goods for a refund; consumer rights to demand substandard services are re-provided or partially refunded; the ability to challenge unfair or unclear terms and conditions; compensation from uncompetitive businesses; and new rights for consumers of digital content.     

The new Act replaces a number of other laws and is designed to be clearer and easier to understand meaning consumers can buy and businesses can sell with confidence. 

It makes it clear what should happen when goods or digital content are faulty, or when services are not provided with reasonable care and skill. 

Guidance on the Act is covered in a number of in-depth guides below:

Business Companion provides information for all businesses and individuals that need to know about trading standards and consumer protection legislation.