This is what you need to know about the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and how to apply it to reinforce your legal rights.

It is a common myth that you only have 30 days grace to act, whereas the 30-day rule applies to rejecting the goods and does not affect your rights.

S22(3) Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you a ‘short-term right to reject’ faulty goods within 30 days and demand a full refund, no questions asked. The onus (burden of proof) is on you to prove it is faulty within 30 days.

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The Consumer Rights Act 2015 replaced three major pieces of consumer legislation, namely;

  • Sale of Goods Act
  • Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations
  • Supply of Goods and Services Act

The purpose for doing so was to simplify, consolidate and modernise consumer legislation and to give consumers clearer rights when purchasing goods and services.

CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015 – CRITERIA

All products should be;

  • Satisfactory quality
  • Fit for purpose
  • As described
  • Last a reasonable length of time

S49 Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that a trader must perform the service with reasonable care and skill.

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This covers all trades including plumbers, hairdressers, takeaways and restaurants.

If you discover any faults within 6 months of ownership, the presumption is that the fault was there from the outset unless the retailer can prove otherwise. This is where you apply the Reverse Burden of Proof.

The onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not there at the time you purchased the product.

You need to give the retailer one opportunity to remedy the same fault. You have the right to reject the goods and demand a full refund without deductions if this fails. The only exception on deductions is for vehicles where you have had use of the vehicle for more than 30 days.

If 6 months has elapsed, the onus is on you to evidence that the fault was there at the time of purchase.

This can be evidenced by an expert opinion or evidence that this is a common fault with this product.

UNFAIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 creates a ‘fairness test’ to prevent consumers being placed at an unfair advantage. Key terms and conditions need to be transparent, fair and balanced.

S62(1) Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that an unfair term of a consumer contract is not binding on the customer.

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The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 also reinforces this. This legislation considers such practices unfair if they cause a consumer to take a different decision than they would have otherwise made if they had not been given false information or put under unfair pressure to proceed. The focus is on misleading and aggressive actions and omissions.

If you had no alternative but to agree to the terms and conditions, a Court would likely consider that you have been put under unfair pressure to do so.

OTHER LEGISLATION

There are other pieces of legislation you can refer to when it comes to reinforcing your case such as;

If a vehicle has been purchased on finance, the vehicle is owned by the finance company.

I have spoken about a man who lost his job after £11,000 BMW breaks down again, which is a common problem I often see.

You don’t need to buy a warranty as the Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives you free cover for up to 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland.

I discuss warranties and what you need to know and I often see consumers having car problems and warranty issues.

You can find out more about how to resolve complaints and motoring disputes in my book.

Your legal rights gives you better protection than any warranty.

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