UK updates laws governing consumer rights
New laws governing how businesses in the UK operate will come into effect on 1st October 2015 as part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Returns and complaints policies, staff training and terms and conditions all come under the spotlight of the new regulations.
Following on from the changes made by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, the new laws streamline eight separate pieces of legislation into one.
The aim of the new law is to clarify the responsibilities a business has to its customers.
Business minister, Nick Boles, said: “I know that UK businesses care deeply about treating their customers well, because, frankly, it makes business sense. That’s why we’re simplifying the law to make it easier for hardworking businesses to understand their responsibilities to customers and allowing consumers to shop with confidence.”
The sale, hire and hire-purchase of goods are all affected, as the new law sees significant reforms to the rights of consumers when it comes to defective goods and poor service. There is also provision for digital content issues, private collective actions and anti-competitive behaviour.
The term “trader” will now include government departments and public authorities, and new obligations will include a 30-day period of time to return faulty goods and receive a full refund, and consumers will have a clear right to demand that substandard services are undertaken again or be offered a price reduction in lieu.
Clauses that exclude or limit the liability of the trader in a contract are “blacklisted” and unenforceable, and a trader can no longer exclude or restrict liability for personal injury or death that happens as a result of negligence. These new stipulations apply across the whole spectrum of provision of goods, services or digital content.