Consumer Rights Act 2015—remedies and enforcement of rights

Consumer Rights Act 2015—remedies and enforcement of rights

How will consumers’ rights be enforced under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA 2015)?

Paul Jonson, managing partner of Pannone Corporate, explores the remedies to be made available to consumers and how their rights will be enforced.

Original news

Consumer Rights Act 2015, LNB News 27/03/2015 144

What remedies are available to consumers for breaches of the duties set out in CRA 2015? How does CRA 2015 regulate and enforce traders’ duties?

The remedies are the main change being introduced by CRA 2015. Consumers will have ‘short cuts to compensation’, as it were. Currently, if goods are, say, of unsatisfactory quality, a consumer may reject them and ‘return’ them (the onus is on the business to collect them) provided he has not kept for them for an unreasonable length of time, which is a nebulous concept. CRA 2015 brings clarity and certainty for consumers.

If goods, a consumer has:

  • an early right to reject—30 days and obtain full refund
  • the right to one repair or replacement within the 30 days (business must bear all necessary costs including postage, labour and materials unless disproportionate to the cost of other remedies available)
  • thereafter, the right to a price reduction or the final right to reject and receive a refund (with a deduction for use by the consumer) outside the 30 days if no acceptable repair/replacement within 30 days—the time allowed depends on the life of the goods in question

If services are supplied but not within a reasonable time, or at a reasonable charge or to a reasonable standard, depending on the problems, a consumer has:

  • the right to have the services repeated
  • the right to a price reduction

The remedies for digital content are addressed below.

Will any part of CRA 2015 affect law firms themselves and, if so, how?

CRA 2015 applies to law firms as they are traders as defined in CRA 2015—they provide services and some of their clients, at least, may be consumers as defined under CRA 2015.

Are any of these new or different from existing consumer rights?

Yes—there is a clear timetable and procedure for the right to reject/repair or replacement/refund or price reduction. In terms of services supplied, there are new rights

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