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UK: Draft Consumer Rights Bill

On 8 May 2013, the Queen's speech also announced that "a draft Bill will be published establishing a simple set of consumer rights to promote competitive markets and growth." The purpose of this Consumer Rights Bill is to:

  • Give consumers clearer rights in law and to make sure that consumer rights keep pace with technological advances.
  • Provide important new protections for consumers alongside measures to reduce regulation for business, all with the aim of making markets work better.

Intended Main Benefits:

  • Give consumers greater confidence when buying products, knowing their rights if things go wrong, switching suppliers or making purchases by telephone or internet.
  • Update the law to take account of purchases of digital content.
  • Introduce new protections for consumers and businesses.
  • Reduce burdens for businesses as there would be fewer and less costly disputes with their customers because the rights are clearer.

Intended Main Elements:

  • Consolidation of legislation in one place:  This would bring together eight pieces of legislation on consumer rights and will cover goods, services, digital content and unfair contract terms.
  • Provide clarity in areas where the law has not kept up with technological advances. For example, setting out clearer consumer rights for the quality of digital content like e-books and software.
  • Easier access to compensation where there have been breaches of consumer or competition law. For example, new powers for enforcers (such as Trading Standards) to seek a court to require compensation to be paid to consumers where consumer law is breached.
  • Measures which would deregulate and reduce costs to business. For example requiring that businesses would, in the majority of cases, receive notice of an inspection from Trading Standards.
  • Measures which would enhance protection for consumers. For example making it easier for consumer to challenge where they have been misled into a contract.
  • Enforcement of consumer compensation:  More powers for Trading Standards and other enforcement authorities to require traders, through the courts, to compensate consumers where they have breached consumer law.

Randall's Parliamentary Service, Queen's Speech, 8 May 2013, Consumer Rights Bill (Draft)

Consumer Rights Bill, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, UK Government, 8 April 2013

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 06.06.2013 14:26

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