Shoppers! Know your rights during awareness week

Shopping in Bedford
Shopping in Bedford

When it comes to buying stuff from shops, or online, how many shoppers know their new consumer rights?

It’s the question being asked during National Consumer Week, which runs next week (from November 2-6) and follows a significant law change at the start of this month when the Consumer Rights Act came into force.

The new Act, which updated and replaced existing laws, means retailers are now obliged to give consumers a full refund on items that turn out to be faulty for up to 30 days after the purchase.

The new rules also apply to digital content, such as eBooks or online films, and means that they must be as described by the seller, of a satisfactory quality and fit for purpose. If they are not, consumers will be entitled to a replacement or a full refund.

To remind people of their new rights, Central Bedfordshire Council is backing the national awareness campaign, and will be focussing on a different message every day of the week to remind residents of how the law change will benefit them.

Executive Member for Community Services Cllr Brian Spurr said: “Although there was plenty of publicity when the new Act came into force, residents may still be unaware how it will benefit them. That’s why we are backing this national awareness week.

“People are often uncertain about their rights about returning faulty goods or what to do if a service they are being asked to pay for isn’t what they want – and that could be anything from having building work done at your house to something as simple as a bad haircut.

“This new Act should make it much simpler for people to find out their rights, and also sets out rules around things plenty of us now do online, such as buying eBooks or downloading films and music, but which weren’t previously very clear.”

For more information, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/the-consumer-rights-act-2015/