The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a major overhaul and consolidation of consumer protection law.

What's the issue?

UK consumer protection law has been spread across a patchwork of laws and regulations which have developed over years. In order to overhaul and consolidate this previously fragmented and confusing landscape and to implement the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), the government has introduced a raft of new consumer protection legislation over the last three years.

What's the development?

The culmination of the government's efforts comes with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 which has received Royal Assent and is expected, for the most part, to come into force on 1 October 2015.

The CRA covers:

  • statutory implied terms and remedies in consumer contracts for goodsdigital content and services;
  • unfair contract terms in consumer contracts;
  • enforcement of consumer protection law;
  • secondary ticketing provisions; and
  • measures to facilitate private actions for breaches of competition law.  

What does this mean for you?

Consumer facing businesses will need to review their:

  • sales lifecycle;
  • sales contracts (including standard website and app terms);
  • limitation of liability clauses to check compliance and references to legislation;
  • pre-contractual information (including notices and announcements); and
  • cancellation and returns policies.

Because:

  • the CRA sets out implied contract terms which cannot be excluded in relation to consumer contracts for goods, digital content and services;
  • tiered remedies are set out in relation to breach of statutory implied terms;
  • contracts for the supply of digital content are treated as a separate category of contract with their own statutory rights and remedies for the first time;
  • the unfair contract terms in consumer contracts regime has changed in terms of the range of information it applies to and with the introduction of new 'grey list' terms which may be considered unfair.