Your Consumer Rights Are Changing – Stay in the Know
As much as I try to keep things irreverent and funny here, sometimes you have to get serious for a minute, so hold on tight, cuz here it comes.
Coming into effect today, your consumer rights have changed, and that will affect you when it comes to buying, selling and returning items. Customer service will change to reflect that, so you’d best brush up now to get ready.
Starting today (October 1) the Consumer Rights Act comes into effect, replacing the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 that governed customer rights until this point. It only applies to things bought from today, so anything bought last week that malfunctions or gives you a stomach bug will still be counted under the old laws.
You have clearer rights when services go wrong
You now have the right to ask that a service be carried out again if the initial service failed, or ask for a discount on the original service.
You now have 30 days to return a faulty item for a refund
Under the previous system, the grace epriod for returning goods was very hazy. Once you had “accepted” the goods, they were your problem. The amount of time generally given for this was 28 days, but it varied from business to business. Now the period is set in stone and you will always know how long you’ve got to return a faulty item!
After 30 days, you must try a repair or replacement before asking for a refund
Under the old system, you could just ask for a refund immediately.
You can ask for a refund after one repair or replacement attempt
The retailer is now required to give you a refund after the first attempt at repair or replacement if you ask for it. Gone are the days of being strung along with multiple repair or replacement attempts while your requests for a refund are brushed under the carpet or just flat-out dismissed.
The laws now apply worldwide
Any seller selling goods to UK customers is now subject to these rules – even if they themselves are outside the UK or even outside the EU. While sometimes tricky to enforce, this should give UK customers a bit more confidence buying from international sellers.
If a business doesn’t follow the rules
You can always get in touch with the consumer ombudsman to fight your corner if a business won’t follow the new laws, and will now also have a stronger case if you wind up taking the business to court.