Jo Swinson has good news for consumers

jo swinsonWay back in May, Stephen Tall made Jo Swinson his 36th Liberal Hero of the week for her plans to make consumer rights more wide-ranging and easier to understand. She published her draft bill yesterday. The measures within it include:

  • a service to be re-performed or some money back, eg if 25 out of 100 photos of an event are substandard, you would get 25% of your money back;
  • rights over digital content, eg a streamed movie that keeps freezing;
  • a clear 30 days to return faulty, non perishable goods for a refund;

Consumer legislation currently consists of no fewer than eight complicated pieces of legislation. This Bill puts them all together in much simpler form so that consumers and businesses alike will be aware of their rights and obligations. Speaking at a launch event at Penguin Publishers in London, attended by the Chief Executive of Which? magazine, Jo said:

For too long the rules that apply when buying goods and services have been murky for both consumers and businesses. The situation is even worse in relation to digital content.

It is about time consumers knew what their rights are and businesses have clearer information on what is expected of them when problems inevitably do arise. That is why we have put clarity and fairness at the heart of the proposed Consumer Bill of Rights.

We want to make sure consumers are confident about their rights in everyday situations be it their washing machine breaking down or an online game they purchased always crashing. This will also benefit businesses as they are going to spend less time working out their legal obligations when they get complaints from customers.

There is a handy and comprehensive explanation of the Bill with lots of practical examples over on the BIS website which is well worth a play with. Not that I’m suggesting anything about Jo in any way, but it reads as if it has been written by a human being who’s actually been shopping a few times in their life rather than the usual sterile government speak.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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4 Comments

  • From hero to zero in a matter of weeks. Come on Jo, get yourself on that diversity training course!

  • AlanPlatypus 13th Jun '13 - 11:08pm

    Consumer rights in relation to digital content is a minefield. Good on Jo for pursuing this.

  • Does this also apply to homosexual consumers?

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