New laws improve your rights for faulty apps and games

The government is bringing in new laws to claim a refund or compensation for apps or games that turns out to be faulty.

Ever bought an app, game, or anything else that broke your phone or didn't work like it should? The government is bringing in new laws to make it easier to claim a refund or compensation for anything bought online that turns out to be faulty.

In today's Queen's Speech to Parliament, Her Madge outlined the principals of a new Consumer Rights Bill. Included in that is protection for you if an app, game, song or film you've downloaded freezes or doesn't work.

The new Consumer Rights Bill streamlines the current tangle of eight different slabs of lawry into one easy-to-understand legal framework, bringing your statutory rights into the digital age.

Under the new laws you'll be able to claim a replacement or money back for apps that continually freeze or are riddled with bugs. And if a film you're watching online is unwatchable because of technical problems, you can claim a replacement or get your money back.

The new law will also guarantee your right to compensation if a game bought online is repeatedly inaccessible or keeps freezing. That might include cases like the recent SimCity disaster .

Until the new laws, the question of a refund in cases like SimCity is a sticky one: "The application of consumer rights to download purchases obviously wasn't envisioned when the Sale of Goods Act and the Supply of Goods Act were written," says Citizens Advice.

In recent years the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills tots up £1bn spent online on films, music and software online, and reckons more than 16 million people wrestled with at least one problem with something they'd downloaded.

The new rules will also cover online shopping for real-life goods and switching suppliers for utilities or services.

Have you had an app knacker your phone or tablet? Have you ever been left out of pocket after an app, game or something else let you down? Tell me about it in the comments or on our Facebook page -- your statutory rights will not be affected.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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