New consumer rights laws include digital products for the first time, says Northamptonshire Trading Standards

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New laws giving consumers extra rights around refunds and rejecting goods come into effect today.

Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards team have issued advice to shoppers about the new regulation which, for the first time, includes digital products.

The legislation gives buyers clearer guidance on when goods can be rejected and when a refund must be given.

For consumers buying services it also clarifies their rights when the services do not match up to what has been agreed or been carried out with reasonable care and skill.

This is also the first time legal protection has been given to consumers buying digital products such as computer programmes, files or apps.

Northamptonshire County Council’s Trading Standards have been preparing for the introduction of the new legislation by running a series of training courses for businesses about the new consumer rights.

In addition to the changes to consumer’s rights in October the act also brings in provisions concerning:

- Unfair terms in a contract

- What happens when a business is acting in a way which isn’t competitive

- Written notice for routine inspections by public enforcers, such as Trading Standards

- Greater flexibility for public enforcers, such as Trading Standards, to respond to breaches of consumer law, such as seeking redress for consumers who have suffered harm.

Councillor André Gonzalez de Savage, Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for public protection, strategic infrastructure and economic growth, said: “This legislation is great news for consumers as it gives them greater protection when buying goods and services.

“The vast majority of businesses out there are honest and reputable, but buyers who do receive sub-standard products or services can now feel confident that they will be entitled to a refund or replacement with the full backing of the law.”

Trading Standards are able to hold further training sessions for businesses about the new Consumer Rights Act if there is sufficient demand.

To register an interest, call 01604 362439.

Consumers can find out more about the new legislation at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards.