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Your Guide to The Consumer Rights Act

The Consumer Rights Act allows consumers to buy and businesses to sell confidently. Take a look at our definitive guide to make sure your bridal business is compliant. 

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The Consumer Rights Act came in to play back in 2015 to make the law clear and easier to understand. The act not only has a say in what should happen when goods are faulty and how services should match up to what has been agreed but it also has a say in what should happen when they do not, or when they are not provided with reasonable care and skill.

Read More: 71% of Consumers More Likely to Buy from a Brand Name They Recognise

What does The Consumer Rights Act state?

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that all good must…

  • Be of satisfactory quality, based on what a reasonable person would expect, considering the price.
  • Be fit or purpose, i.e. If the consumer has a particular purpose in mind, he or she should make that clear.
  • Meet the expectation of the consumer.

However, it states that the consumer does not have the right to a refund just because they have changed their mind.

What does this mean for bridal retailers?

For bridal retailers, this means that if a bride purchases the wrong size gown, they may not be entitled to any money back. However, if a bride purchases a made-to-measure dress that doesn’t fit their sizing requirements, they will be entitled to a full refund or a replacement.

The Consumer Rights Act means retailers will have a clear understanding of what their customer is entitled too, and if a problem arises, they can be certain of what they need to do to deal with it.

What is the timescale?

The Consumer Rights Act states that consumers have up to 30 days to reject faulty or mid-described goods. If this is the case, retailers must give an immediate refund. Additionally, if the consumer requests a repair or replacement, the 30-day period can be extended to six months.

Read More: European Commission Calls for Clearer Online Pricing Information

How can your bridal business be compliant?

Within the first six months of purchase, the onus is on the retailer to prove that the fault was not present at the point of purchase and so ensuring all dresses arrive at your shop in perfect condition is of the utmost importance. Due to this, it is essential that work closely with your supplier.

To be fully complaint to The Consumers Rights Act, it’s also imperative to ensure all staff members have a full understanding of this law. Whether this is done with a training day or given to them in their company handbook, it’s essential they know this information.

In addition, check to see if your company’s terms and conditions are up to date and fully conform to the law. It’s also a good idea to make your terms as clear and concise as possible in your contracts.

Who can help?

The law can be quite complex in matters like this, so it’s great to have some expert knowledge and guidance if any problems were to arise. The Retail Bridalwear Association (RBA) is a trade association for wedding retailers in the UK. Established in 1995, every member of the RBA has access to its free legal helpline 24 hours a day. There are many alternative options out there but having an organisation like this on hand can offer some peace of mind in difficult times.

For more advice and guidance take a look at the full legislation here. For more business advice like this, take a look at our investigation to alcohol licensing laws here.

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