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Consumer Rights Law Changes 2015 – updated to 2017


What you need to know about your Consumer Rights

The new act should come into force on October 1st 2015 and is designed to replace around 8 laws – such as “the Sale of Goods Act 1979” & “the Supply of Goods & services act 1982”. The laws should be much clearer, easier to understand & have relevance to both buyers & sellers, impacting on every business which sell goods or services to UK consumers

With around 90 million pounds per month being spent in the UK, this law will be key to promote buying with confidence and is now operating successfully in 2017.

Primarily, the idea is to help businesses & their customers settle their differences when a problem arises and provides for problem resolution through an Ombudsman in the form of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) that can offer a lower cost & speedier option than going to court.

Some Key Points covered by the Laws.

  • Faulty Goods
  • Faulty Digital Goods or content
  • Services matching agreed terms – including provided with “reasonable care & skill”
  • Contracts terms that are unfair
  • Anti-competitive actions by a company
  • Trading Standards inspectors – powers & notifications

For the first time there are 2 areas which become clearer in rules, legislation & enforcement such as

  1. Digital content – repair or replacement of Downloads such as Films, Games, Music etc.
  2. Reasonable Care & Skill – if a service is supplied without reasonable care and skill as was initially agreed upon, the service must be remedied or money returned.

CITIZENS ADVICEThe main source for information and advice on these new laws will be The Citizens Advice Bureau as of October 2015 (

When dealing with such an area as Home Improvements, which can sometimes be complex & require you to spend a considerable amount of money, you can also takes preventative steps yourself in the initial stages by dealing only with suppliers or contractors that you have done some research about – previous customers are always a good source of information – where possible, shortlist several candidates and also ensure that they have a track record in the area of expertise you want.

Certification by a trade body relevant to the work being carried out, where variable, is essential as membership & accreditation offers an extra level of consumer protection and proof of competence.


John Francis James
John has been around the building industry since he was a child. With a degree in civil engineering, John is a highly valued contributor to our website.