The Consumer Rights Act 2015: 30 day refund

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Amanda J WilliamsAmanda J Williams has kindly agreed to trawl through the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which came into effect this month and translate it into bite sized chunks explaining how it will impact your business.

Amanda is Senior Legal Counsel at Business Law Online, who offer services at an hourly rate of just £135 plus VAT, but they also offer fixed price legal services taking into consideration every legal situation a business may encounter. Their fixed price contract includes legal advice and services, guidance, document preparation, review and more. Their services could include redrafting your Terms and Conditions of sale to take into account the new Consumer Rights.

Today Amanda looks at the 30 day refund rights in the Consumer Rights Act:

Consumer Rights Act 2015 featThe Consumer Rights Act 2015: 30 day refund

The Consumer Rights Act came into force on 01 October 2015 and only applies to items bought AFTER 1st October 2015.
This new act replaces three key pieces of former legislation – the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations and the Supply of Goods and Services Act.

The most important change under the Consumer Rights Act is the right to a full refund, for a faulty item, within 30 days (from the date you purchased the product), whether you shopped online, in a high-street store, or at any other retailer, and the money must be returned to you within 14 days. Previously the law simply defined the time limit as a “reasonable length of time”, allowing retailers to set their own time periods, in some cases they made it as short as seven days.

Sometimes, however, you won’t become aware of a fault until after the 30 days has passed. In this case (provided you are within 6 months from the date you purchased the product) you can still return your item to the retailer and they have to repair or replace the faulty product. You, the consumer, can choose whether the item is repaired or replaced however the retailer can object if it can be shown that your choice is disproportionately expensive compared to the alternative. If the attempt at a repair or replacement is unsuccessful, you can still claim a refund or a price reduction if you still want to keep the product, or if you don’t want a refund and still want your product repaired or replaced, you have the right to request that the retailer makes further attempts at a repair or replacement. Faults discovered within the first six months are presumed to have been there from the time of purchase unless the retailer can prove otherwise. Faults discovered after the first six months are not presumed to have been there from the time of purchase and its down to you, the consumer, to prove that the item was faulty the whole time.

You are not entitled to a refund simply because you have changed your mind about your purchase, the goods have to be faulty. That said, many retailers do allow you to change your mind but they are not forced to do so by law.

Please be aware that this 30 day right doesn’t apply to digital content or perishable goods. The period for perishable goods will be determined by how long it is reasonable to have expected the goods to last. For example, milk would be expected to last until its use-by date as long as it’s stored correctly.

6 Responses

  1. thanks for the info.

    I have a question about the six months, what happens about cheap products that just won’t last six months, is it just a blank 6 month guarantee on everything? Let’s say a t-shirt if you were to wear it everyday or even with some every week, it’s not reasonable to expect it to last six months is it?

    There always seems to be a fuzzynuss about what’s faulty and what’s not?

  2. (I am sure it does not feel like it, but this fuzziness is one of English Law’s strengths)

    CRA addresses, amongst other things, issues of satisfactory quality, fitness for particular purpose and being “as described”.

    ‘Faulty’ mostly relates to quality and yes, what constitutes a ‘fault’ is open to interpretation.

    ‘Fitness’ and ‘as described’ can be engaged even where the quality is not an issue.

    A good quality T-Shirt sold as suitable for use by football referees would not be ‘fit for purpose’ if the sleeves were not of regulation length for referees.

    A good quality T-Shirt described as ‘100% Organic Cotton’ is not ‘as described’ if it contains 1% nylon.

    The 6 months period can be reduced where “goods are of a kind that can reasonably be expected to perish after a shorter period” but, in your T Shirt example, I doubt this would apply as the T Shirt is not inherently perishable.

    Also bear in mind that the 6 months is not the end of it. A claim can be brought at any time, even years later but the burden of proof shifts more to the consumer and any refund can be reduced to take into account any use the customer had of the goods.

    Clear as mud?

  3. ~
    So, (at £135 + VAT per hour) for an issue after 14 days who exactly pays for the return postage please ?


  4. Its not clear from my reading of the article what is the difference between the 30 days and 6 months timelines (the buyer can return if faulty up to 30days and up to 6 months) – anybody?

  5. From – “Buying on ebay
    If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that ‘buy it now’ items have the same protection as buying from a shop (statutory rights, cooling off etc), whereas auction purchases count as second-hand. ………”

    So auction items count as second-hand for the purposes of the law even if they are new. Not sure though if this changes anything as far as the law is concerned? If it does though should ebay be making it clear to buyers what these differences in statutory rights are between BIN and auction sales? It could make BIN a more attractive option if the differences are significant. And ebay should certainly make it a lot clearer what the differences in statutory rights are between buying from business and private sellers.

    And then you have all the foreign sellers on ebay??? Do the statutory rights apply to these?

  6. I realise this article relates to the CONSUMER, but what statutory rights does a retailer have between themselves and a supplier / distributor?




Judge Rinder: Are your T’s and C’s in order?


The Consumer Rights Act 2015: Unfair Contract Terms


The Consumer Rights Act 2015: Services


The Consumer Rights Act 2015: 2nd Hand Goods


The Consumer Rights Act 2015: Digital Content

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