The government has introduced a raft of new consumer protection legislation to overhaul and consolidate the previously fragmented and confusing consumer protection landscape and to implement the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD). The process has been completed with the granting of Royal Assent to the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA).
What does the CRA do?
The CRA is expected, for the most part, to come into force by 1 October 2015 (with some provisons coming in earlier). It constitutes a major reform of consumer protection law covering:
- statutory implied terms and remedies in consumer contracts for goods, digital 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.
- 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.