It is now just over a year since the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA) was introduced.
There was much publicity around its introduction and quite rightly so given it had been nearly 40 years since it predecessor, the much quoted Sale of Goods Act 1979, became law.
Advice organisations and websites were keen to promote the new consumer powers, in particular the much discussed 30 day Right to Reject. The fanfare led to raised consumer expectations and for us at Lawgsistics, a massive rise in casework for our client traders who felt the impact of the new law pretty sharply as customers demanded far more than they had paid for or agreed to when buying a used vehicle. And that of course is the main problem with the CRA, it is primarily designed with new products in mind, not used cars. How can one law apply equally to a toaster from John Lewis to a used vehicle of 5 years and 60,000 miles of usage?
The answer to that lies in the details of the legislation together with that good old fashioned legal sense of reasonableness. It is the detail in the CRA where dealers have found relief from over zealous consumer expectations as we have been able to fend off the majority of complaints that have hit our desks over the last year. This has meant that our dealers have avoided unnecessary rejections, refunds and repairs saving both them time, money and stress.
In short, consumers still have overly high expectations and will no doubt continue to do so but as we have experienced first hand, the courts when presented with a well prepared case from a dealer, will usually reach the sensible conclusion.