Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Timely Boost for Consumers' Rights; Shoppers Now Have 30 Days to Return Faulty or Not Fit for Purpose Goods They Have Bought for a Full Refund

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

A Timely Boost for Consumers' Rights; Shoppers Now Have 30 Days to Return Faulty or Not Fit for Purpose Goods They Have Bought for a Full Refund

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Read

KNOW your rights! Consumers have been handed more powers in a big shake-up of the shopping laws. The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force at the beginning of October and means you now have 30 days to return anything you've bought that's faulty or not fit for purpose.

On top of that, shoppers' rights have been extended to anything you buy digitally, including downloaded films, music and games.

Until this month, retailers were able to hide behind a weasely term in the old law which stated that consumers could return faulty goods within a "reasonable length of time".

Some shops decided that as little as 14 days, or even seven, was reasonable, which could leave consumers out of pocket if they didn't return things swiftly.

Now they must give you 30 days to return a faulty item and hand back all your cash, no questions asked.

In fact goods must satisfy three criteria and if they fail on any, you can return them within 30 days for a full refund.

They must be of satisfactory quality. Bear in mind that this can change as bargain-bucket products, for instance, are often sold at a different standard to expensive luxury goods.

Whatever the price, goods must be fit for purpose. If you bought something that you were told would be suitable for a particular purpose, it must do the job.

Anything you buy must be as described. Whatever a seller supplies you with must match the description given to you when you bought it.

If something you've bought develops a fault after the first 30 days you must give the seller a chance to put things right. Under the new rules set out in the Act, you have to give retailers a chance to repair or replace a faulty item before you're entitled to ask for a refund or price reduction.

"It used to be that you were entitled to an exchange, a repair or a refund, but now the onus is on the fact that the company must be allowed to repair or replace it. Only if it goes wrong after that are you entitled to a refund, and that may be a partial refund, where appropriate," says MONEYSAVINGEXpert's Martin Lewis.

Under the new rules, if you qualify for a refund in the first six months after you've bought something retailers have to return all your money, unless it's a motor vehicle, where a reasonable reduction can be made for the use you've had of the vehicle. …

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