Consumer Rights Bill

Summer/Autumn 2014 could see the biggest change in consumer rights in over a decade.

The Consumer Rights Bill has now begun its progress through the House of Commons.  From there it will be considered by the House of Lords and then will become law following the “rubber stamping” Royal Assent.

The government claims that it will make the law clearer.

No it won’t.  For at the moment there is an obvious contradiction between:

“The goods must be of satisfactory quality, based on what a reasonable person would expect”

and

“The goods must meet the expectations of the consumer”

Because when it comes to the second hand car market – the price seems to be irrelevant to most consumers who seem to think that it is perfectly reasonable for them to expect a champagne vehicle in return for lemonade money.  The expectation of the consumer is simply not the same test as the expectation of the reasonable person.

Of course, aspects of the Bill may change as it meanders through Parliament and so we will be in a far better position to pass comment on the new laws once the Bill transforms into an Act of Parliament. 

Published: 17 Feb 2014

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