National Consumer Week 2015
"Know your new rights"
This year's national consumer week is
focused on the Consumer Rights Act.
The Act makes consumer rights clearer and simpler to understand
The Consumer Rights Act introduced a range of new rights for consumers
when it came into force on 1 October 2015. These included a 30-day time
period to return faulty goods and replacement rights for faulty digital
content. The Act is a major reform of UK consumer law that streamlines
complicated law from eight pieces of legislation into one place and
makes it easier for consumers and businesses to understand key consumer
to clear and honest information before
to get what pay for
goods and digital content being fit for purpose, and services being
performed with reasonable care and skill
that faults in what they buy will be put right free of charge or a refund or
of the Act the law will be easier to understand, supporting consumers to buy
with greater confidence. In addition it ensures that disputes between consumers
and businesses will be easier to sort out quickly and cheaply.
will help empower consumers to reward the best businesses
Consumers who understand their rights and responsibilities are likely to make
better choices when they shop and should save both time and money. They should
better understand how they should be treated by businesses, be better at
selecting the best deals and hold businesses that provide poor quality goods or
services to account more effectively. The Act means it is now easier to compare
important terms in contracts and so helps consumers to select the business which
provides the best overall offer, rather than simply the cheapest.
makes it easier to solve disputes between consumers and businesses
legislation aims to help consumers and businesses to avoid disagreements. But
when a problem does occur, it will also be easier for disputes to be settled.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, for example through an Ombudsman, now offers a
quicker and cheaper way of resolving disputes compared to going through the
We want to
support consumers to understand and use their new rights
the new laws in force, consumers should learn what these rights entitle them to
and what they don’t. Consumers should have in mind their rights when they
research purchases and when they decide between providers. They should also know
where to go for more information in advance of a purchase and if a problem
arises. Information and advice is available from the
Citizens Advice’ website,
their Consumer Service telephone helpline 03454 040506 or at local Citizens
We want to
overcome the barriers that stop consumers using their rights and so improve
Consumers must feel that their feedback to business will bring about positive
change. However, consumer literacy is currently weak. Consumers often don’t know
if they have got a good deal, especially in high-cost markets which they use
very rarely. We want consumer empowerment through the Act to result in
businesses improving their goods and services, pursuing practices that increase
customer satisfaction, and so producing a better market for all.