Solicitors often find themselves advising small business owners on the intricacies of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
This piece of legislation is pivotal in safeguarding consumers while delineating the responsibilities and obligations of businesses towards their customers.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 consolidated several existing consumer protection laws into a single comprehensive statute.
It came into force in October 2015, providing clearer shopping rights, especially for online and digital purchases.
This article outlines the key provisions of the Act with the aim of helping small businesses navigate their legal obligations effectively.
One of the fundamental principles established by the Act is that all goods sold must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose, and as described.
This means products should not be faulty or damaged when received by the consumer – not when dispatched.
As a business owner, it is your duty to ensure that the goods you sell meet satisfactory quality standards.
Repair or replacement
If a consumer purchases a product that turns out to be faulty within the first 30 days of purchase, they have a legal right to a refund.
Beyond this period and up to six months after the purchase, consumers are entitled to a repair or replacement of the item.
It is incumbent upon businesses to facilitate these remedies without causing significant inconvenience to the consumer.
A notable feature of the Act was the inclusion of digital content within its purview.
Digital content must adhere to the same standards as physical goods, ensuring protection for consumers purchasing online or downloading digital content.
Businesses dealing in digital content should be particularly vigilant in complying with these provisions.
You should speak to a qualified solicitor who can help you understand the complex nature of online commerce.
Unfair terms in consumer contracts
The Act also addresses unfair terms in consumer contracts, stipulating that any term deemed unfair will not be binding on the consumer.
It is recommended that businesses review their contract terms regularly and speak to legal experts to ensure fairness and compliance with the Act.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a robust legislative framework that governs consumer transactions in the UK.
It is vital that businesses adhere to the provisions of the Act to foster trust and maintain a healthy business-consumer relationship.
Small businesses should seek legal advice to ensure their practices align with the requirements of the Act, thereby safeguarding themselves from potential disputes and fostering a trustworthy relationship with their consumers.
To learn more about consumer rights and online commerce, please speak to one of our team.