Trading Standards Service    
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 rights:

  • to clear and honest information before they buy

  • to get what pay for

  • to 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 replacement provided

Because 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.


The Act 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.


The Act makes it easier to solve disputes between consumers and businesses

The 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 courts.


We want to support consumers to understand and use their new rights

With 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 Advice offices.


We want to overcome the barriers that stop consumers using their rights and so improve business behaviour

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.


See also...

As well as the information on this site you can find guidance on the Chartered Trading Standards Institute's (CTSI)
business companion

Find out what the Consumer Rights Act means for you...





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This page was last edited on 30/10/15