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The Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) applies to business-to-consumer contracts for the supply of goods, services and digital content entered into on or after 1 October 2015. The Act combines and updates UK consumer law to create a simplified body of law.

What are consumers’ rights if goods are defective?

It is implied under the contract of purchase that goods must meet the required criteria such as to be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.

If the goods do not meet the required criteria in that they do not work, break or do not work in the way they were described then the consumer is entitled to the following remedies:-

1) Refund within 30 days of receiving the goods

The consumer can reject goods within 30 days and receive a full refund. The trader is required to pay the refund within 14 days.

It is for the consumer to prove that the goods do not meet the required criteria. However, if it is within the first 30 days it is assumed that the goods were defective at the time of purchase.

This right to an immediate refund does not apply to intangible digital products - such as music, games or apps purchased as downloads or software or where the expected life of the goods is shorter than 30 days (e.g. perishable goods).

2) Repair or replacement within 30 days of receiving the goods

If the consumer chooses to have the goods repaired or replaced within the first 30 days then the time limit for the right to a refund is paused. If, following repair or replacement the goods do still not conform the consumer has the longer of the remaining period of the 30 days or 7 days to reject the goods and recover a refund.

3) Repair or replacement after first 30 days

If the goods are found to not conform with the required criteria more than 30 days after purchase, the consumer has the right to a repair or replacement. The consumer need only accept either one repair or replacement, however, the trader is able to choose which option. If the goods still do not conform in that they still do not work properly or repair or replacement is impossible, the consumer can then either reject the goods and recover a refund or keep the goods and recover a reduction in price.

In relation to digital products, there is no cap on the number of repairs or replacements that the trader can provide before the consumer is entitled to a price reduction. The consumer is entitled to a price reduction if repair or replacement is impossible or not provided within a reasonable timeframe or without significant inconvenience to the consumer.

If the fault is discovered in the first six months after purchase, It is for the trader to prove that the fault was not there at the time of supply.

If the fault is discovered in the first six months after purchase, It is for the trader to prove that the fault was not there at the time of supply.

If the fault is discovered more than six months after purchase, the burden of proof passes back to the consumer and the trader has the right to potentially deduct some money for the use of the goods. However, if the product is a car, the trader is entitled to deduct money for usage just one month after purchase.

Under contract law, the consumer has up to six years to claim against the trader.

Is the consumer entitled to a refund if they change their mind about the goods?

If the goods are purchased in-store then the trader is not required to provide a refund because the consumer has changed their mind. Many shops allow consumers to return goods in this circumstance however, it is down to their individual policy.

If the goods are purchased online or over telephone then the consumer can return the goods within 14 days of receiving the goods if they change their mind and also recover a refund.

The amount of legal protection for consumers has increased significantly, ranging from general rights under the Sale of Goods Act and the Consumer Credit Act, to legislation dealing with more specific issues such as distance selling.

At Ramsdens we have an experienced team of solicitors that can advise you of your consumer rights and also assist you in resolving any dispute either through negotiation, mediation or as a last resort through court proceedings. Call our Litigation team on 01484 821 500 or email info@ramsdens.co.uk.