On 1 October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act (2015) came into force. It seeks to reinforce and clear up the ambiguity of the last Consumer Protection Act (1987) and Sales of Goods Act (1979) by clearly outlining the responsibilities that retailers have to their customers in a much more transparent way.
Until now, retailers were able to play fast and loose regarding the duration of time allowed to return an item that had been purchased. As a result, we’ve seen that time range between 2 and 20 days previously, but there was nothing set in stone to really show a set point in time the consumer could reference to in accordance with law.
The way the new Consumer Rights Act addresses this is that it ensures customers can get a refund within 30 days of the initial purchase date if the item is faulty, which is a big win for UK consumers. In addition to the European law offering a 2-year guarantee on manufacturing defects, a 30 day refund window for faulty items leaves us all better protected than ever, however there is an addition to this that makes it even more interesting.
For the first time, this rule also covers digital goods. Here is an extract taken from the source:
“This will be the first time that rights on digital content will have been set out in legislation. The Act gives consumers a clear right to repair or replacement of faulty digital content such as online film and games, music downloads and e-books. The law here has been unclear up until now and this change brings us up to date with how digital products have evolved.“
The move is unprecedented, and could affect future app downloads from the the likes of the Apple Appstore and Google Play store, as well as games from Steam, and online music services such as Play Music, iTunes and Spotify. Having the power to challenge retailers on digital goods is very interesting considering some of the issues we’ve seen recently. Imagine the issues that WB Games would have faced with Batman: Arkham Knight, and all the bugs that plagued the PC games if that law was in place then?
So next time you’re faced with a problem for a recently bought item, whether it is from Argos or Steam, remember that you can now return it for a refund within 30 days from the date of purchase and you are protected by law. Let us know what you think of this move in the comments below.