It’s that time of year again, work is winding down for most people only to be taken over by the hustle and bustle of buying gifts and making sure everything is ready for the big day.
In all the hectic hurrying around you don’t stop to think whether what you’re buying is all in working order and we may miss that there’s something wrong, and may not even be able to tell. The nightmare is that when your loved ones open that special present on Christmas Day that it’s just not quite the quality you expected, that it doesn’t work properly or even that it doesn’t work at all.

You’ll be pleased to know that the law is on your side, and so too is our professional team of solicitors at EA Law Solicitors.

The new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into force on 01.10.2015 really does help to simplify the law by bringing together a number of Acts of Parliament, such as the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982, in order to make everything clearer and more straightforward. It also adds some much needed sections which simplify and modernise consumer law.

Most Helpful Changes:

30 Day Refunds: This new right provides 30 days in which a consumer is able to get a full refund if a product is faulty.
Clearer Refunds: The new Act makes a consumer’s entitlement to a refund, and how much that will be, much clearer depending on the circumstances and how long they have owned the goods.
Failed Repairs: Sometimes, even after a seller tries to put a problem right, a repair can go wrong and or fail. In this case a consumer can get a refund or a price discount.
2nd Time Around: Instead of refund or price reduction, consumers can request, at no cost to them, further repair or a replacement if there is still a problem with goods.
Reduced Refunds: For 6 months after an item has been purchased no reduction in the refund amount can be made. The situation is different for motor vehicles as sellers can deduct some money for the amount a consumer has used the vehicle.
Digital Content: Many people may now be buying music, films or TV shows online and the new Act provides additional rights concerning these items specifically, including when you buy digital content on a physical medium, such as on a DVD.
Unfair Contract Terms: The Act attempts to strengthen the consumer against hidden fees and charges by providing easier ways to challenge these if they are unfair. The main terms of contracts have to be prominent and transparent or they can be declared as unfair terms.
Pre-contract information: If a consumer is told something before the contract begins it can have an impact on what should have been provided by the seller and it can include extra features or additional services that the seller will need to honour.

So, if you’ve got a problem this Christmas with faulty goods or issues with services that you have received then be confident that you can get things put right.

Don’t be afraid to raise a complaint in the first place: Many people shy away from complaining in case they cause a fuss and it doesn’t always come naturally. You don’t have to become angry or upset, and it helps not to, but do be assertive and confident. Set out and explain as clearly as you can to the seller or retailer the problems you are having and how you would like that to be dealt with.
Don’t leave it too long: As soon as you see that there’s a problem, take action. Remember the 30 days that the Act provides for, take advantage of them.
Don’t just take no for an answer: Refund policies in shops if you change your mind about an item are different to your consumer rights when there is something wrong. Most retail workers will be helpful to you and know about this but if they don’t, just ask to speak to a manager or supervisor. Try not to take it personally, the person may not realise this, or have enough experience to understand what the retailer has to do.
Write to the seller or retailer: If you have not managed to get your problem resolved by visiting the retailer or contacting by telephone then put your complaint in writing to the manager. You don’t have to make it complicated, you just need to communicate as clearly as you can, you might want to include some photographs if there is a problem with the way something looks or anything else that may help the retailer resolve the matter.
Take some advice: There are many sources of free advice or guidance from consumer organisations. It might just be that you need someone to talk to you about your specific circumstances so that you know you’re on the right track. There are helpful online guides at the Citizens Advice Bureau website and at Which Online that can give you some ideas. You might find that you need the help of a solicitor if things cannot be resolved and EA Law Solicitors are perfectly placed to provide you with low cost fixed fee assistance.