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 purchase and does not affect your rights.
This is often referred to as ‘short-term right to reject’. You can reject goods within 30 days if they are faulty and demand a full refund, no questions asked.
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
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 faults. 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 and 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. Terms and conditions need to be transparent and fair, and anything that tips the rights and responsibilities in favour of the trader is considered unfair.
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.
There are other pieces of legislation you can refer to when it comes to reinforcing your case such as;
- Consumer Credit Act 1974
- Misrepresentation Act 1967 (this is where the Reverse Burden of Proof lies)
If a vehicle has been purchased on finance, the vehicle is owned by the finance company and you can make your problem theirs by seeking a chargeback to restore you to the position you were in before you entered in to the contract.
I have spoken about a man who lost his job after £11,000 BMW breaks down again, which fits nicely with this blog and was reported in the Edinburgh Evening News.
This piece of legislation, if applied properly, gives you comprehensive cover for free with no wriggle-room for traders for up to 6 years in England and Wales and 5 years in Scotland.
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.