The Consumer Rights Act 2015, which took effect on 1 October 2015, introduces new regulation for e-commerce businesses selling digital content to consumers. Any operator of a business selling any form of electronic data (including software, music, e-books and even the building of websites) should understand the rights which their consumer customers now have.
The new rules introduced by the Consumer Rights Act are:
- Digital content must be of satisfactory quality, fit for the particular purpose and must match any description with which it was sold;
- The consumer has no right to reject digital content and receive a refund of the price. However, if the digital content breaches the key requirements, a consumer has the right to one or more repairs or replacements until the digital content is satisfactory. If the repair or replacement is impossible or is not carried out within a reasonable time, the consumer has a right to a price reduction, which may be the full amount of the price;
- The provisions also give consumers a remedy if damage is caused to a device or to other digital content, by the new digital content supplied even when the new digital content was provided for free. In this situation the trader may choose between repairing the damage or making an appropriate payment to compensate the consumer for the damage.
As a new area of consumer protection, the rights of customers in relation to digital content are not entirely clear and businesses might encounter complex situations where specialist advice is recommended to avoid pitfalls; particularly when supplying both goods or services and digital content or to update promotional materials, pricing information, website terms and conditions refund policies and procedures.
Our Corporate team specialise in advising businesses on their obligations under the Consumer Rights Act and other regulations and can help you to update your materials and practices. Please contact our Commercial team on on 01737 854 500 or find out more here.