Consumer law was for a long time covered by the Sale of Goods Act and the Supply of Goods and Services Act but this legislation was over 30 years old and did not reflect the significant growth in online trading and digital products. Legislation and case law are now consolidated in the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force on 1 October 2015. It also incorporated the law on unfair terms in consumer contracts and introduced a right for consumers to take action for breaches of competition law.

Significant changes include the following:

  • Under the new Act, the trader will be responsible for the cost of the consumer returning rejected goods
  • The requirements in relation to how refunds are paid will also apply where the consumer only rejects some of the goods
  • An exemption, which allows a deduction to the refund to take into account the use of the goods during the first six months, will only apply to motor vehicles

The guidance focuses on the “grey list” of terms which may be unfair with extensive sections on the “fairness” test and core exemptions that take account of recent case law. It also contains a detailed section on how the unfair contract terms and notices provisions in the Act will be enforced.

The expanded sections in the draft guidance on fairness and transparency, the application of the core terms exemption and the overall changes to reflect recent case law are particularly helpful for consumers.

If you have a dispute regarding the purchase of goods, services or digital content that you cannot resolve then the TSP Dispute Resolution team can help. Click here to contact the team.