The Consumer Rights Act 2015: 30 day refund

Amanda J WilliamsAmanda J Williams has kindly agreed to trawl through the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into effect this month and translate it into bite sized chunks explaining how it will impact your business.

Amanda is Senior Legal Counsel at Business Law Online, who offer services at an hourly rate of just £135 plus VAT, but they also offer fixed price legal services taking into consideration every legal situation a business may encounter. Their fixed price contract includes legal advice and services, guidance, document preparation, review and more. Their services could include redrafting your Terms and Conditions of sale to take into account the new Consumer Rights.

Today Amanda looks at the 30 day refund rights in the Consumer Rights Act:

Consumer Rights Act 2015 featThe Consumer Rights Act 2015: 30 day refund

The Consumer Rights Act came into force on 01 October 2015 and only applies to items bought AFTER 1st October 2015.
This new act replaces three key pieces of former legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

The most important change under the Consumer Rights Act is the right to a full refund, for a faulty item, within 30 days (from the date you purchased the product), whether you shopped online, in a high-street store, or at any other retailer, and the money must be returned to you within 14 days. Previously the law simply defined the time limit as a “reasonable length of time”, allowing retailers to set their own time periods, in some cases they made it as short as seven days.

Sometimes, however, you won’t become aware of a fault until after the 30 days has passed. In this case (provided you are within 6 months from the date you purchased the product) you can still return your item to the retailer and they have to repair or replace the faulty product. You, the consumer, can choose whether the item is repaired or replaced however the retailer can object if it can be shown that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative. If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you can still claim a refund or a price reduction if you still want to keep the product, or if you don’t want a refund and still want your product repaired or replaced, you have the right to request that the retailer makes further attempts at a repair or replacement. Faults discovered within the first six months are presumed to have been there from the time of purchase unless the retailer can prove otherwise. Faults discovered after the first six months are not presumed to have been there from the time of purchase and its down to you, the consumer, to prove that the item was faulty the whole time.

You are not entitled to a refund simply because you have changed your mind about your purchase, the goods have to be faulty. That said, many retailers do allow you to change your mind but they are not forced to do so by law.

Please be aware that this 30 day right doesn’t apply to digital content or perishable goods. The period for perishable goods will be determined by how long it is reasonable to have expected the goods to last. For example, milk would be expected to last until its use-by date as long as it’s stored correctly.