Consumer Rights Act Q&A: everything you need to know about 30-day refunds from October 1

Previously there was no timeframe for such refunds, which were up to the seller

Hazel Sheffield
Thursday 01 October 2015 10:22 BST
The law on refunds is changing
The law on refunds is changing (Getty)

From October 1, consumers will be able to get a refund on faulty items for 30 days.

Previously there was no timeframe for such refunds, which were up to the seller. But the new law offers extra clarity about when consumers should expect a repair and when they should expect a refund.

What should I expect from goods I buy?

Under the new guidelines, goods should satisfy three criteria:

  • Satisfactory quality. Beware this can change - bargain bucket products could be sold at a different standard to luxury  goods.
  • Fit for purpose.  If you asked for a product for a purpose, the product you bought should do the job.
  • As described.  The goods supplied must match any description given to you at the time of purchase.

What happens if they the product doesn’t match this criteria?

If a product is not as you expected it, or doesn’t work, you have a claim under the new Consumer Rights Act – even if the goods are second hand. What that means varies on how long it has been since you bought the goods.

How long do I have to claim this refund?

Consumers now have 30-days to get a refund. You might have always thought the 30-day rule already applied, but in fact, refunds used to be at the discretion of the seller.

After 30 days, you have to give the retailer the chance to fix the problem or replace the goods. If this doesn’t work, you still have the right to a refund.

You can get a full or partial refund instead of a repair or replacement if:

  • 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 be significantly inconvenient
  • the repair would take unreasonably long
  • the repair has been unsuccessful.

What if a retailer doesn’t comply?

Since July, an Alternative Dispute Resolution has been available to settle disputes between consumers and retailers quickly and more cheaply. It’s another option for sorting out disputes with retailers rather than having to resort to going to court.

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