What are Consumer Protection Rights?

Consumer protection rights are the rights to have information about the quality, quantity, price and standard of goods and services.

The law in the UK protects consumer rights under the Consumer Rights Act when something is bought by the public. This also includes the purchase of digital content.

What are the Consumer Protection Standards?

The goods and/or services must meet certain standards which are as follows:

  • As described. The goods or service supplied should match any description that is given by the supplier. This includes any models or samples that are shown to the buyer at the time of purchase.
  • Fit for purpose. The goods or services should be ‘fit for purpose’ when supplied to the consumer. This includes any purpose made known to the retailer before the consumer agrees to buy the goods or service.
  • Satisfactory quality. The goods or services supplied should not be damaged or faulty when purchased. Certain goods have different standards of satisfactory quality depending on the supplier. Satisfactory quality concerns itself with the durability also, this is how long the product may last once purchased.

Once an item, good, product or service is purchased there is a period of time that starts counting from the date of ownership by the consumer.

The period of time starts for example if goods are purchases in a shop and then they are taken off the premises. The right to a refund begins on that day.

If the item, product or goods are ordered in-store, bought online or delivered to premises this period of time does not start until the goods are delivered to the consumer.

Making A Claim Under their Consumer Protection Rights

If goods or services do not meet the above-mentioned standards a consumer may claim under the Consumer Rights Act.

There are several ways to make a claim as a consumer. This depends on the circumstances and how the retailer may want to rectify the issue with the consumer.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, the consumer has a claim against the retailer or supplier rather than the manufacturer. This can sometimes depend on how much time has passed since the goods were purchased.

How Long Does a Consumer Have To Return a Faulty Product?

The Consumer Rights Act allows the consumer the legal right to obtain a refund for goods or services that are deemed unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or those not as described. These time periods are as follows:

0-30 days: – The consumer can claim a full refund for unsatisfactory goods or services. Although the refund does not apply to downloaded products such as music, games or apps.

If a digital product is faulty then it can be repaired or replaced. In the case where neither is possible a reduction in price is available that could amount to the full price of the digital good originally.

In some situations, a replacement is preferred for a physical product within these 30 days the consumer is allowed to ask the retailer or supplier.

The 30 day period is shorter for goods of a perishable nature and this will be determined by how long is considered reasonable to have expected the products or goods to last naturally.

30 days – 6 months: – The consumer must give the retailer or supplier the opportunity to repair or replace the goods before a partial refund is then applicable.

6 months or more: – The consumer must give the retailer or supplier the opportunity to repair or replace the product or goods to claim a partial refund. There is a burden of proof put on the consumer to prove that the product or goods are faulty.

Also, please refer to our article on the Trade Descriptions Act.