New consumer law to protect motorhome purchases
Buying a new motorhome will soon become a safer proposition thanks to the Consumer Rights Act. The new rules include having 30 days to completely reject a purchase and demand a refund if it is found to be poor quality, not fit for the purpose it was described for, or if it doesn’t match the description given.It aims to simplify and enhance consumer purchasing rights by streamlining complicated law from eight different pieces of legislation into one. It will also introduce a range of new rights for consumers including a 30-day time period to return faulty goods. The new law, which comes into force on 1 October, will apply directly to purchases of motorhomes.
Ex-Business Secretary, Vince Cable said in March, “This is the biggest shake up of consumer law for a generation.”
The departed Consumer Affairs Minister Jo Swinson said, “For too long consumers and businesses have struggled to understand the complicated rules that apply when buying goods and services. That is why the Consumer Rights Act is so important in setting out clear and updated consumer rights for goods and services.”
The key points cover four areas: Supply of goods, consumer options, deductions for use and supply of services.
The original rule that goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for the purpose described and match their actual description is retained. Where the goods fail any of these tests and so can be considered defective the consumer is entitled to either a 30-day, right to reject (after which they can’t), or tiered remedies where the consumer can ask the supplier to repair or replace the goods.
In the right to reject option the 30-day limit can be extended by the seller by at least 7 days if they have to replace or repair goods in this time. So, if a motorhome has a flaw on delivery, which the seller can quickly fix, the buyer can still reject it within the original 30 day period or after a short extension for the work to be carried out.
Once the right to reject period is up, the consumer must look to the tiered remedies and here there is a significant change. The vendor has only one opportunity to repair or replace the goods at the consumer’s request and cannot charge the consumer for this, must carry out the repair or the replacement within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience.
The trade body for motorhome manufacturers, the NCC, responded to the new regulations with, “The many current laws around consumer rights can be confusing for businesses and consumers alike; therefore the NCC welcomes the new Consumer Rights Act 2015 which aims to consolidate these and to improve clarity and understanding for all.
“The legislation will be an opportunity for businesses to review their processes and procedures, especially information in the customers’ contract. So it is essential that businesses make sure all their staff are aware of their responsibilities as retailers. Processes for dealing with any issues at the point of sale need to be clear and unambiguous.”
More details on the new legislation in the September issue of Which Motorhome, on sale 13 August.
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