30-Day refund becomes law for shoppers

October 1, 2015

From the 1st October 2015, changes to the consumer rights act now entitles shoppers to a no-quibble 30 day refund if their items are faulty.

"If you buy a product and discover a fault within 30 days you'll be entitled to a full refund," Hannah Maundrell, the editor of money.co.uk told BBC news. "The party really is over for retailers that try to argue the point."

Law for shoppers

‘Faulty’ goods are defined as those which are not of satisfactory quality, not fit for purpose, not sold as described, or those that don’t match the goods seen by the customer before the purchase is made (for example if the received item didn’t match the display models out for inspection on the shop floor). You can request a repair or replacement goods instead of a refund.

Not only this, but for the first time there is also more protection for consumers buying digital content, such as ebooks, music or films. Consumers will now be entitled to a refund or replacement if the downloads do not work, as long as they allow the retailer time to try and initially fix the problem.

Consumer Rights giant Which? Outlines the following:

30-day right to reject

  • Under the Consumer Rights Act you have a legal to reject goods that are unsatisfactory quality, unfit for purpose or not as described and get a full refund - as long as you do this quickly.
  • This right is limited to 30 days from the date you buy your product. After 30 days you will not be legally entitled to a full refund if your item develops a fault.
  • This right to a refund doesn't apply to purely digital products though - such as music, games or apps that you buy as downloads.
  • You can however ask for a digital product to be repaired or replaced if it develops a fault.

This act brings with it a benefit to new and upcoming retailers, as customers have the opportunity to try products from brands that they may have never purchased from before, injecting the added consumer confidence to products with the knowledge of a 30 day return.

In an interview with Internet Retailing, Jo Swinson Consumer Rights Co-Author outlines this further, by stating how “It’s important to recognise that confident customers are good customers. If you feel safe when shopping, particularly online, you’re more likely to try new retailers, to take a chance on someone new. And that’s great for competition".

Having this clear cut-off timescale across the board means that retailers can't palm off the responsibility of issuing a refund or replacement product to the consumer.