Having come into force on 1st October 2015, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) was made to stand alongside existing regulations to create a simple body of consumer law. Together, they set out the primary rules which regulate how consumers buy and businesses sell in the United Kingdom.
The basic consumer rights from the Consumer Bill of Rights are:
- Right to safety
- Right to be informed
- Right to choose
- Right to be heard
- Right to satisfaction of basic needs
- Right to redress
- Right to consumer education
- Right to a healthy environment
The laws are designed to protect the consumer, whether they’re buying a product for personal use or business use. The act defines what rights a consumer has and what the business’ obligations are, as a goods or services provider, in the event of a dispute.
What are the terms used in the Consumer Rights Act?
The terms of the CRA cover some critical points. If you sell goods, they must conform to certain standards or conditions, they are that:
A seller must have the right to sell a product. Sellers who deal in stolen goods will not have a “good title” and won’t have the right to sell these goods. Even if you do not realise you’ve sold goods which were stolen, there is a chance that the goods will be returned to the rightful owner and your business will have to pay compensation to the consumer you sold the goods to - negatively affecting your existing relationships & finances.
You must provide an accurate description of each product that your organisation sells. From size to colour, you musn’t mislead consumers with false information.
Any products that are sold must be of a sufficient quality. Therefore, it must function properly and not be damaged. This requirement has a range of criteria that are assessed in order to classify the product as a satisfactory quality. They include:
- Current condition, and
- Whether it’s safe for use and suitable for its intended purpose
If these requirements aren’t met, it can result in a mountain of work and a loss of reputation involving refunds and exchanges. The same criteria should also be applied to second-hand products - however, it should be considered that the product won’t be in as good condition as the brand new product.
‘Fit for purpose’
If a consumer explains why they are purchasing a product and what it is for, the product must be fit for that purpose. For example, not all TVs have 4K resolution, but if the consumer explains that this is what they need, they should be recommended a TV that is capable of displaying 4K video.
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