The changes to online shopping refund policies

Have you ever made an online purchase, then struggled to get a refund? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Making a online purchase can make it more difficult when it comes to getting your money back, and is one of the biggest pain-points in modern, online shopping. However, if you’re in the UK, some new changes are being proposed that could make the process easier in the future.

The changes have been outlined by The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, and have been published in a report. The changes to the Consumer Rights Bill, which still need to be approved by Parliament, suggest that, in cases where consumers need to replace a product due to a fault, online firms will be legally required to offer compensation – either by a price reduction or by carrying out work so that the product meets the correct standard.

Currently, consumers are often wary of making online purchases as they can be left out of pocket, through no fault of their own. It’s predicted that this legislation could boost the economy by as much as £4 billion over the next decade. In particular, its hoped that online sales could see a massive boost during busy holiday seasons.

According to Richard Lloyd, director of the consumer group Which?, the changes would “bring the law into the 21st century and make it easier for people to understand their rights and challenge bad practice”.He added: “While there are many welcome measures in the Bill, like reforming the law on unfair terms and conditions, it’s good to see MPs following our recommendations to strengthen it even further. This will be both beneficial for consumers and for businesses that try to do the right thing by their customers.”

However, chairman of the committee, Adrian Bailey, warned that the changes could have other consequences. He said in a interview: “It is also extremely difficult for consumers to prove that a service was not provided with reasonable care and skill. The Government’s proposals do not offer sufficient protection for the consumer. Ultimately, consumers are less interested in whether a service was conducted with reasonable care and skill than whether it achieved the stated result. The law should reflect this.”

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