Save, make, understand money


Know your consumer rights, says USwitch

Cherry Reynard
Written By:
Cherry Reynard

Seven million Brits have lost out by not understanding their consumer rights, and many more are not sure of their legal protection.

The Consumer Rights Bill will increase consumer protection, but uSwitch.com is calling on the Government to increase consumer education.

Its recent survey found that around two fifths (38%) of consumers are unsure of their rights, with only 4% ‘truly confident’ on the rules. 27% of consumers think consumer rights are too complicated – full of loopholes and ambiguities (28%) and legal jargon (11%). Around a third claim to be too embarrassed to complain.

The most common problems are faulty goods (24%), poor service (18%) and overcharging (17%), but a third of people have saved time and money by developing a better knowledge of their rights. The Consumer Rights Bill will improve protection but consumers need to understand what it means for them, says uSwitch.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “The Government’s Consumer Rights Bill will ensure consumers are better protected in their spending. However, for this legislation to have the desired impact, it is important for consumers to have a clear understanding of what it entails and how it will help them. Our research shows many people do not understand their current rights, highlighting the importance of making the new Bill accessible to all; whether seeking a refund for faulty goods, or compensation for poor service, people need to know exactly what they are entitled to.

“With this in mind, the public is looking towards the Government for guidance on this matter, and we would urge them to answer this call. The introduction of these new rules must be accompanied by an education programme to ensure they inspire consumer confidence – without this, people will continue to lack the information needed to stand up for what they are entitled to. Consumers who understand their rights will be empowered to save both time and money and will force retailers to up their game in terms of the quality of products and services they offer.”