Consumer Rights Act Update

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Yesterday, the Consumer Rights Act received Royal Assent: its core provisions will come into force in October. And from July, Alternative Dispute Resolution will be available to all businesses to help when a dispute cannot be settled directly with the consumer.

As a result, the law will be clearer and easier to understand. On the rare occasions when problems arise, businesses and consumers will be able to sort out disputes more quickly and cheaply. The changes are relevant to all consumers and every business which sells directly to consumers.

The major changes to consumer rights in the Act cover:

• What should happen when goods are faulty.

• What should happen when digital content (such as online films and games, music downloads and e-books) is faulty.

• How services should match up to what has been agreed, and what should happen when they do not or when they are not provided with reasonable care and skill.

The Act also improves how competition and consumer laws can be enforced, and rules on unfair terms in contracts.

More information and guidance for businesses can be found on the Business Companion website. If businesses would like to speak to someone about this, they can call the Business Support Helplines.

Information for consumers is available from Citizen’s Advice. Guidance for consumers will be available there when the new rules come into force in October.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in the development of these reforms. Your contributions have shaped these improvements, the effects of which will be enjoyed by consumers and businesses for years to come.

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