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Consumer Rights Act 2015

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 became law on 01 October 2015, replacing three major pieces of consumer legislation - the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, and the Supply of Goods and Services Act. It was introduced to simplify, strengthen and modernise the law, giving you clearer shopping rights.

Product quality 

As with the Sale of Goods Act, under the Consumer Rights Act all products must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.  The rules also include digital content in this definition. So all products - whether physical or digital - must meet the following standards:  

  • Satisfactory quality  Goods shouldn't be faulty or damaged when you receive them. You should ask what a reasonable person would consider satisfactory for the goods in question. For example, bargain-bucket products won’t be held to as high standards as luxury  goods. 

  • Fit for purpose  The goods should be fit for the purpose they are supplied for, as well as any specific purpose you made known to the retailer before you agreed to buy the goods. 

  • As described  The goods supplied must match any description given to you, or any models or samples shown to you at the time of purchase.

Who should you claim against?  

If what you’ve bought doesn’t satisfy any one of the three criteria outlined above, you have a claim under the Consumer Rights Act. If you've bought a faulty product, you can read our guide, which shows you what you should do and how to make a claim.  If you want to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act, you have several possible ways of resolving your issue, depending on the circumstances and on how you want the retailer to remedy the situation. 

Your rights under the Consumer Rights Act are against the retailer – the company that sold you the product – not the manufacturer, so you must take any claim to the retailer.  What you can claim depends on how much time has passed since you made the purchase. Read on to find out what your rights are in the first 30 days after purchase and beyond. 

30-day right to reject

Under the Consumer Rights Act you have a legal right to reject goods that are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described, and get a full refund - as long as you do this quickly.  This right is limited to 30 days from the date you buy your product. After 30 days, you will not be legally entitled to a full refund if your item develops a fault, although some sellers may offer you an extended refund period. This right to a refund doesn't apply to products you've bought as downloads, though - such as music, games or apps.  You can, however, ask for a digital product to be repaired or replaced if it develops a fault. And if this isn't possible, or is unsuccessful, you have the right to receive a price reduction. 

Repair or replace

If you are outside the 30-day right to reject, you  have to give the retailer one opportunity to repair or replace any goods or digital content which are of unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described. You can state your preference, but the retailer can normally choose whichever would be cheapest or easier for it to do.

If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you can then claim a refund or a price reduction if you wish to keep the product. You're entitled to a full or partial refund instead of a repair or replacement if any of the following are true:

  • the cost of the repair or replacement is disproportionate to the value of the goods or digital content

  • a repair or replacement is impossible

  • a repair or replacement would cause you significant inconvenience

  • the repair would take an unreasonably long amount of time.

If a repair or replacement is not possible, or the attempt at repair fails, or the first replacement also turns out to be defective, you have a further right to receive a refund of up to 100% of the price you paid, or to reject the goods for a full refund. 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.

The first six months

If you discover the fault within the first six months after buying the product, it is presumed to have been there since the time of purchase - unless the retailer can prove otherwise. During this time, it's up to the retailer to prove that the fault wasn't there when you bought it - it's not up to you to prove that it was. 

If an attempt at repair or replacement has failed, you have the right to reject the goods for a full refund or price reduction - if you wish to keep the product. The retailer can't make any deductions from your refund in the first six months following an unsuccessful attempt at repair or replacement. The only exception to this rule is motor vehicles, where the retailer may make a reasonable reduction for the use you've already had of the vehicle after the first 30 days. If you'd prefer to keep the goods in question, you can request an appropriate price reduction.

Six months or more

If a fault develops after the first six months, the burden is on you to prove that the product was faulty at the time of delivery. In practice, this may require some form of expert report, opinion or evidence of similar problems across the product range. 

Contact us today to find out more about how to return a faulty item and claim a refund, repair or replacement from a retailer. You have six years to take a claim to the small claims court for faulty goods in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and five years in Scotland. This doesn't mean that a product has to last six years - just that you have this length of time in which to make a claim if a retailer refuses to repair or replace a faulty product. 

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"Me and my wife purchased a new television and soon as we had it up and running we noticed the screen would randomly flicker. We contacted the company where we purchased it from but they refused to give us our money back as it was a 'sale item'. However after receiving a call from Consumer Rights we went ahead with the claim and 6 weeks later received a full refund and £300 love to shop vouchers. Thanks guys for all your help!"

Michael Todd, Blackburn

Customer feedback

"Many thanks for all your help especially Zack who was very helpful and professional. I am very happy with the result and now looking forward to my holiday.. Thank you once again x"

Irene Williams, Coventry