UK consults on new consumer laws

ConsumerOpen date:13 Jul 2012

Closing date:05 Oct 2012

The consultation seeks views on options to simplify and clarify the law in relation to the supply of goods, services and digital content supplied under a contract. To respond quickly and easily there is a short online version of the consultation which can be accessed via the right hand panel. The full consultation document is below.

Consumers who understand their rights can play a strong part in driving growth because they force businesses to innovate and pursue efficiency. For this they need both competitive markets and a strong framework of consumer law that can be effectively enforced. There is widespread agreement that current consumer law is not fit for purpose because rights and obligations are unclear.

The proposals in this consultation are intended to create a simple and modern framework of consumer law written in plain language that consumers and businesses can confidently use for themselves. They form part of a?package of measures to simplify consumer law.

The proposals have two aims:

  • To increase growth, by reducing the burden on business of over-complex and unclear law and increasing consumer confidence
  • To promote fairness, by enabling consumers to understand and assert their rights when they buy substandard goods, services or digital content

The core reforms considered in this consultation are:

  • Goods: establish clear rules where uncertainty about rights and remedies is causing disputes, including a defined period for the short term right to reject within which consumers can get a full refund for faulty goods
  • Services: bring the services regime more in line with goods by introducing a statutory guarantee and statutory remedies which a service provider would have to offer when the service was inadequate
  • Digital content: establish clear protection for digital content such as music, software and games, where the law is currently uncertain, through a separate digital content regime with its own tailored set of rights and associated remedies

Further information