News and views from the automotive industry.
Are you ready for the Consumer Rights Act 2015?
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force from 1st October and affects every business that sells directly to customers – including motor dealers. The Act is the biggest shake up in consumer rights law in a generation, seeking to simplify, strengthen and modernise previous legislation.
The new law makes it clear what should happen if goods are faulty, or when services are not provided with reasonable care and skill. From now on, all traders selling to consumers will need to understand and adhere to the changes.
If you have any questions about the changes to the Consumer Rights Act and how it could affect your dealership, please contact Car Care Plan’s helpful customer services team.
What does the Consumer Rights Act 2015 introduce?
To help businesses and consumers understand the changes, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has developed a plain English summary of the key elements of the Act. This is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to consumer rights, but rather a general overview of key elements, focusing on the most common issues.
Among the changes:
- Pre-defined returns period – customers are entitled to an immediate and full refund if goods are found to be faulty within the first 30 days after purchase. This is the first step of a tiered system, which ranges up to six years after purchase, to ensure goods remain as described, fit for purpose and of satisfactory quality during their expected lifespan.
- Repeat or fix a service – customers can ask for a repeat or fix to a service if it is not carried out with reasonable care and skill. Or they can ask for their money back. If not previously agreed with the customers, prices must be reasonable and services must be carried out within a reasonable time.
- Cancel a service – in most cases, customers can cancel a service within 14 days of purchase. However, if it has been agreed the service will start within this time, customers may be charged for what they’ve used.
- Unfair terms in consumer contracts – It will now be easier for consumers to challenge hidden fees and charges. Now the key terms of a contract, including price, may be assessed for fairness unless they’re both prominent and transparent.
- Pre-contract information – The Consumer Rights Act states if a retailer provides pre-contract information in relation to a service and the consumer takes this information into account, the service must comply with that information.
What else should dealers know?
From now on, all traders selling to consumers will need to give the consumer details of a certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. For Car Care Plan products and services, for example, this is the Financial Ombudsman for direct products and Motor Codes for product where the dealer or manufacturer is the insured party and other non-insurance products.
If your dealership provides Car Care Plan products or services and you require ADR provider information for your customers, please contact us today.
See next week’s blog, or sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page, for more information, advice and guidance on complying with the new Consumer Rights Act.