The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015 and only applies to items and services purchased after 1 October 2015. The Act includes new protections to reflect changes in the way consumers shop and makes the law easier to understand for both consumers and retailers. The CRA also makes it easier for any problems to be resolved. Retailers must ensure their standard terms and conditions (ie the provisions they use to govern the sale of goods or services to a customer) and sales practices comply with the law to ensure their contract terms are enforceable.
The CRA and the supply of goods
The CRA builds on and replaces some of the provisions contained in the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA). This legislation implies terms into businesses’ contracts with consumers. This means that certain consumer rights are assumed to be contained in the contract formed when the consumer purchases something from the business, even if these rights are not actually written into the contract. Some of the consumer rights provided for in this way include:
the goods must be of satisfactory quality
they must be fit for purpose
goods sold based on a description must comply with the description given to the consumer before their purchase
For more information, read Consumer rights.
Therefore, it’s important to be accurate and comprehensive when describing your products, particularly if you’re selling online or if the customer hasn’t been given a chance to inspect the goods before purchasing them.
Businesses must refund consumers for any faulty goods that a customer wishes to reject (ie return) within 30 days of purchase, and the money must be returned to them within 14 days. Beyond this refundable time period, the business must usually replace or repair any faulty goods.
The CRA and the supply of services
The CRA also implies terms into consumer contracts related to services. An important implied term is that any services provided to consumers, including the delivery of goods, must be supplied with reasonable care and skill. This applies to the whole range of commercially available services, from plumbing to cosmetic surgery. Work that isn’t completed to a sufficient standard may result in the consumer being entitled to a full refund.