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KNOW THE RIGHTS: NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION MEASURES


Major changes in the Consumer Rights Act have come into force this month from the 1st October 2015 under the Consumer Right Act 2015. CEDIA is alerting home technology professionals of various areas of this act that must be acknowledged, including longer refund rights.

 

Digital Content

As part of the Consumer Rights Act 2015, home technology professionals need to be aware of the new Digital content legislation. The main concern with regard to digital content is around the infrastructure in place to deliver this content. Should a client have difficulties receiving digital content as part of a media system installation, both the client and media supplier could attempt to hold the installer liable for the cost of any media that isn’t delivered satisfactorily. The best course of action to avoid this is robust testing and certification of a networking system at the point of installation. A network that has been thoroughly tested and certified to deliver a steady speed over a suitable distance will be a solid defence against such a claim.

 

Service Provision

Home technology professionals must also be aware that the services they provide are covered by the Consumer Rights Act. The new changes outlined in the Supply of Services provision  now means the client is within their rights to demand a refund, price reduction or ‘repeat performance’ if they are not happy with the  service and installation provided. It is therefore essential that home technology professionals have a clear and structured process for approving the services they are providing, and that this approval is well documented. This bank of information will act as evidence to support the service that is provided and will verify that everything has been supplied that was agreed by the client. It will also prove that all modifications from any original plans have been signed off by the client during the process. Not only will this avoid any unfounded claims, but should also ensure that the client is satisfied with the end result, having been consulted on all appropriate decisions.

 

Unfair Terms

An additional term has been added to the test for ‘unfair terms’ which monitors all contracts or price settings under the Consumer Rights Act. Home technology professionals should now ensure their terms are ‘prominent’, meaning the contract and pricings have been presented to the customer in a manner that the average consumer would understand.

 

Home technology professionals need to be vigilant in ensuring all relevant terms are clearly brought to the consumer’s attention. If you fail to meet the relevant term requirements it does not automatically deem your contract or pricing unfair, but exposes the term and contract to additional scrutiny if brought to attention.

 

For more information on the Consumer Rights Act 2015, please see the official website here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/contents/enacted