The Consumer Rights Act 2015 – What does it mean for your business?

November 27, 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) came into force on 1 October 2015. The aim of the CRA is to make the law clearer for businesses and consumers. The CRA will affect all businesses that supply to consumers.  The CRA replaces some existing laws under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 for dealings with consumers, consolidates other laws relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts and it gives consumers new rights in relation to goods, services and digital content. In this blog we consider how the new CRA will affect your business.

The law in the CRA is similar to current laws but does contain changes. The main changes relate to supply of digital content, the supply of services and unfair contract terms.

The CRA applies to contracts and notices between a ‘consumer’ and a ‘trader’.  A ‘trader’ is defined as “a person acting for purposes relating to that person’s trade, business, craft or profession, whether acting personally or through another person acting in the trader’s name or on the trader’s behalf”.  A ‘consumer’ is defined as “an individual acting for purposes that are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession”.

 

Digital Content

The CRA brings into force two new laws on digital content. The CRA gives consumers the right to the repair or replacement of faulty digital content such as online music, e-books, films and games.  Digital content must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and conform with the description provided by the business.

 

Supply of services

The CRA consolidates various laws that currently provide consumers with remedies. Consumers now new remedies of ‘repeat performance’, a price reduction if a service does not conform to the contract and the right to appoint a new supplier in certain circumstances.

 

Goods

Under the CRA, goods supplied to consumers should be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose, match the description, sample or model and be installed correctly (if relevant). Consumers have new rights to an automatic 30-day period to return the goods if they do not meet the implied terms unless the expected life of the goods is shorter than 30 days, a right to repair or replacement if the 30-day period has lapsed or during that time, and a right to price reduction and final right to reject if the repair or replacement is unavailable or unsuccessful to the consumer.

 

Unfair contract terms

The CRA consolidates and updates current laws.  If a contract term is deemed to be unfair it will not be binding on the customer. The CRA applies to consumer notices as well as consumer contracts.

 

Conclusion

The CRA has brought into effect some significant changes with hoe businesses deal with consumers. This will have an effect on the contracts that businesses have in place with customers. Your terms and conditions will need to be updated and you will need to make changes to how products and services are sold and how after sale services are provided. For more information, contact LawBite.

 

Annelie Carver – LawBite LawBrief. For further legal advice you can contact Annelie via our online legal advice portal.

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