Consumer Rights Act 2015
In the words of Ofcom, "the Consumer Rights Act ("The Act") has been hailed as the biggest shake-up of consumer law for a generation". The Act, which came into force on 1 October 2015 aims to make consumer rights clear, easier to understand, and lays out how consumers can take action.
The legislation has responded to the surge in demand for digital content by including specific provisions relating to such content. For example, consumers are given an express right to the repair or replacement of faulty digital products which do not conform with the contract for supply. This includes digital content such as online films, music downloads, ebooks and games. Unlike with goods, the legislation will not go as far as to allow consumers to reject digital content as a 30 day rejection period may result in consumers watching or using content and then rejecting it, resulting in content effectively being provided for free.
The inclusion of specific provisions for digital content is a welcomed amendment to UK consumer law. Although it may lead to increased liability for providers of digital content, it introduces welcomed clarity in a previously ambiguous area. Ultimately, it will ensure that legislation is brought into line with our increasingly digitised world.