Civil Litigation


Civil litigation is a process for resolving public and private legal disputes. Here at GoodyBurrett we have a team who are able to assist you in this whether it be through negotiation or through the courts


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The Civil Litigation Department

New Consumer Rights Act

At the beginning of October, the new Consumer Rights Act came into force, but what does it actually mean for retailers and shoppers?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015, sees the biggest change in consumer law for some time, changing the rules relating to the supply of goods, services and digital content for all contracts made after 1 October and has been designed to bring together, improve and update existing consumer law.

Under this new act, the familiar terms implied in contracts for the sale of goods or services –“fitness for purpose”, “satisfactory quality” and “goods corresponding with description”– all still remain.

However, whether shopping in the high street or online, certain rules will now apply which are intended to make it easier for the consumer to understand and to use those rules, whatever the purchase.

Faulty Goods

New protection measures have been introduced which will allow consumers to obtain a full refund for faulty goods for a period of 30 days after their purchase. Previously, consumers were only entitled to refunds within a “reasonable time”, which led to a great deal of uncertainty amongst consumers and retailers alike.

The cost of returning any faulty goods must also be borne by the retailer, unless these are returned in person to the store from where they were purchased.

The 30-day limit does not apply to perishable goods, such as fresh produce. The right to reject perishable goods lasts only as long as it would be reasonable to expect these goods to last.

If faulty goods are not rejected within 30 days, the retailer is allowed only one attempt to repair or replace them. Under previous legislation, there was no specific limit on the number of attempts that could be made by a retailer to try to repair or replace the goods.

This means that a retailer can no longer insist upon several attempts to repair, for example, a faulty computer. If the repair is unsuccessful, or if the replacement has the same fault as the original item, a consumer can then request a full refund, or alternatively a reduction in the price, if they choose to keep the goods.

If the consumer obtains a refund within the first six months of purchasing the goods, a full refund of the purchase price must be given. However, after six months the retailer is entit led to make a deduction for the use of the goods.

The only exception to this is in relation to cars and other motor vehicles, where a reasonable reduction may, in fact, be made by the retailer for the use that a consumer may have had of the vehicle within the first six months of purchase.

Digital Content

The act also sets out certain rights, which a consumer is entitled to, in relation to faulty digital content. Again, this is the first time such rights have been set out in legislation. All the terms which cover traditional goods and services under this Act will apply for digital content as well. If digital content is faulty, a consumer has the right to a repair or a replacement rather than a refund. Digital content is specified as goods, which are produced and supplied in digital form, such as music and film downloads, e-books, apps and games. Furthermore, the Act also covers ‘mixed services’ for example streaming services and provides two new remedies for consumers. Under this Act, a consumer has the right to ask for the service to be performed again or can ask for a price reduction.

For more information on the Consumer Rights Act and how it affects you as a consumer or your business please telephone on 01206 577676 or email law@goodyburrett.co.uk.

Did you know..?

The current maximum weekly payment for redundancy from 1st October 2012 is £430.