The Consumer Rights Act 2015: One month on

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

With the new 30-day refund policy in place, IT firm PCMS outlines how this policy will affect both the retailer and the shopper.

“While the Act is indeed a step in the right direction when it comes to avoiding confusion around returns on faulty goods, in the age of omni-channel retailing not all is as straightforward as it seems. While the 30-day period is being put in place for products bought in store, the rule only applies for the first 14 days for items bought online,” said PCMS.

“What will be interesting to see is how this impacts online orders returned to store or click and collect items ordered online and collected at store, for example. What return policy applies to these items? With so many ordering, collection and purchasing options available to shoppers these days, further clarification is needed so consumers are up-to-speed on their rights, regardless of how they shop.”

The firm warns that retailers need to carefully consider the options they have in regards to online and in-store purchases when it comes to the new refund policy.

“It is likely that sales staff will also need training on the new ways of working and having robust software to support them on their journey is a must,” explained PCMS.

“Working with an IT system that can be updated and rolled out from a single point across all touch points for customers is essential for the new Act to be enforced without a hitch and without causing further confusion for retail representatives and customers alike.”

Consumer right expert Helen Dewdney has created a guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015, in which she details that the consumer can choose repair or replacement in the first 30 days and up to 6 months after purchase as it is assumed that the fault was there at the time of delivery unless the trader can prove otherwise or unless this assumption is inconsistent with the circumstances (for example, obvious signs of misuse).

“If more than six months have passed, you have to prove the defect was there at the time of delivery. You must also prove the defect was there at the time of delivery if you exercise the short-term right to reject goods. Some defects do not become apparent until some time after delivery, and in these cases it is enough to prove that there was an underlying or hidden defect at that time.”

You can ready Dewdney’s full guide to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 here.

Has the Consumer Rights Act 2015 affected your business in any way? Or have you noticed any benefits when purchasing from a tech retailer? Let us know in the comments below.

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