The Law Commission is the statutory independent body created by the Law Commissions Act 1965 to keep the law under review and to recommend reform where it is needed. The aim of the Commission is to ensure that the law is:
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published a new Consumer Rights Bill, which incorporates many of the Law Commission's recommendations.
Law Commissioner David Hertzell says: "We particularly welcome the provisions on unfair terms, and the clarification that prices are only exempt from review if they are transparent and prominent. This issue has caused considerable litigation, especially over unauthorised bank charges. In March 2013 we recommended this change to provide greater certainty, for the benefit of both consumers and businesses.
We also welcome the introduction of a clear 30 day period to reject faulty goods, as recommended in our 2009 report. After this time, consumers may demand a repair or replacement."
Under the current law, if the fault develops after 30 days, and the retailer is unable to a provide a repair or replacement, the consumer may require the retailer to refund the purchase price less an allowance for use. It is notoriously difficult to value the use a consumer has had from a faulty product, and the provision causes considerable dispute. We are disappointed that the Government has not taken the opportunity to remove this source of frustration for consumers.