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New consumer rights laws unveiled

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New measures aimed at protecting consumers against poor service and shoddy goods have been unveiled today.

The proposals, outlined in the draft Consumer Rights Bill, suggest a 30 day time period for when consumers can return faulty items and get a full refund.

Under the draft Bill consumers will have the right to: get money back after one failed repair of faulty goods; demand that substandard services are redone or failing that get a price reduction; and get a repair or a replacement of faulty digital content such as film and music downloads, online games and e-books.

Consumers spend more than 59 million hours a year dealing with goods and services problems.

The laws would also benefit businesses which have to spend significant time and resource understanding the law and training their staff to apply it.

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said: “For too long the rules that apply when buying goods and services have been murky for both consumers and businesses. The situation is even worse in relation to digital content.

“It is about time consumers knew what their rights are and businesses have clearer information on what is expected of them when problems inevitably do arise. That is why we have put clarity and fairness at the heart of the proposed Consumer Bill of Rights.”

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: “The new Bill of Rights will bring consumer law into the 21st century at last, making it easier for everyone to know their rights and giving people more power to challenge bad practices.

“There are many welcome measures in the Bill, including reforming the law on unfair terms and conditions and giving consumers clear rights when digital downloads go wrong. This will be good for consumers and good for businesses that try to do the right thing by their customers.”


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