New consumer rights law gives money back on faulty apps

The consumer rights bill will soon extend to faulty apps, downloads and streams, making it easier to get your money back.

Soon it'll be easier to get your money back on faulty apps, downloads, and streamed music and films, as consumer rights law will be extended to cover digital products.

The consumer bill of rights is being updated to be "fit for the 21st century" according to consumer minister Jo Swinson, the Guardian reports. At the moment, the legislation is a bit of a mess, but these changes -- to be announced in the Queen's speech on Wednesday -- will consolidate it all in one place. Jolly good.

The changes will mean greater protection for those of us downloading films, music and games. If your online game freezes or your streamed movie is unwatchable while your Internet connection is fine, you'll be in for a refund.

Us punters will find it easier to apply for compensation for breaches of competition law. Trading standards officers will also have new powers to seek court orders requiring compensation to be paid.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills estimates consolidating the legislation in one place will save up to £4 billion over 10 years. At the moment, legislation is split into eight separate parts. Powers allowing trading standards officers to investigate breaches of consumer law are spread across no fewer than 60 pieces of legislation. No wonder it's a bit of a headache getting anything done.

The changes should empower us consumers, according to Swinson. "Stronger consumer protection and clearer consumer rights will help create a fairer and stronger marketplace," she said. "We are fully aware that this area of law over the years has become unnecessarily complicated and too confusing, with many people not sure where to turn if they have a problem. We are hoping to bring in a number of changes to improve consumer confidence and make sure the law is fit for the 21st century."

Have you had any problems being compensated for faulty digital goods? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.


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