What is the consumer protection act?

The consumer protection act was created in order to protect consumer through ensuring there is free trade competition and the free flow of information in markets. The laws have been created in order to protect and prevent different businesses from engaging in activities that are regarded as fraudulent. The act also prevents businesses from gaining an unfair advantage through the exploitation of certain practices.

As the UK is part of the European Union the country is required to cooperate and adhere to the consumer protection directives that have been put in place by the EU. Domestic regulations are also in place within the UK but these incorporate different standards that have been adopted from the prescription made by the European Union.

The regulation board within the UK is the Office of Fair Trading and they hold the responsibility of following up any queries or complaints in relation to breaching the act.

When a consumer purchases goods within the UK they have certain rights that protect the consumer by law if the product or service is faulty or if it is deemed to have failed to meet certain standards. The protection in place for consumers is dependent upon the different prices or products that have been bought.

The law states that when a product is bought by a consumer that product must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described. If these descriptions are not met by the product that has been supplied then the consumer is legally in a position for a repair, replacement or refund.

In order to return a product to a shop the purchaser must have some form of proof of purchase, this may be a receipt, a bank statement, the shops packaging or a witness. Different shops have their own guidelines on the proof of purchase that will be accepted.

In some cases the consumer has the right to change their mind, this is usually within seven days of purchase. Consumers can ask for their money back if a product has been bought online, over the phone, by mail order or on the doorstep of their home.

Although in certain cases this right is not always relevant, this includes cases where products are personalized or made to order, are perishable, if the product is a newspaper or magazine, a financial product, or a CD, DVD or piece of software that has had its security seal broken.

Consumers are within their rights to make a complaint if they feel that the act has been broken. In the first instance consumers should report their complaint directly to the organsiation involved, although failing this, they should contact the Office of Fair Trading directly.