Consumer Rights: Goods – How Much Do You Know?

Recent studies have shown that a possible one third of Britons do not understand their consumer rights and are losing out on time and money as a result of it. That means there’s an estimated 21 million people living in Britain that are spending too much money and too much time on products that they do not need because they do not understand their rights regarding these products. Are you one of those in the 21 million?


The Study

The research carried out on society’s understanding of consumer rights was carried out by – the result showed that as little as 4% of the British public felt that they had an in-depth understanding of their consumer rights and 41% of the public confessed to knowing very little if nothing about their rights under consumer law and an astounding 41% believed that the laws regarding consumer rights were too complicated and had too many loopholes.


It’s because of this recent research that we have decided to bring to you the basics regarding your rights under the English consumer law – if you know your rights you can’t go wrong.


The Basics

Consumer laws were invented to regulate trade, but the consumer laws that we use today were developed around the 1970s in order to aid both consumers and companies alike. There are dozens of significant laws and acts in place that fall under the term consumer law but the majority of these can be left in the capable hands of barristers and solicitors.


Consumer Law: Goods

There are various regulations in place in regards to consumer law and the sale of goods – here are some of the most important rules and regulations that you should know as a consumer.



The law states that all sellers must state the full price of an item including the VAT when selling to private customers. Other items such as loose products (vegetables, fruit and petrol) must have the full price per metric unit displayed clearly where the consumer can see it.


Others laws regarding prices state that a seller cannot give misleading information, for instance they cannot display a price lower than what they charge for the item. If the seller does list an item at a lower price you cannot insist that they sell the item at the marked price, but you can call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline for support on the matter.


Quality and Description

The law regarding the sale of goods also states that the item being sold must be of a satisfactory quality or condition unless otherwise stated. This means that the item must be fit for its purpose, if it isn’t you have the right to return the item.


All items must match their description as given by the seller – this means that it should match the description on the packaging of the item too. These laws also take into account that the product must meet and claims that have been made about it in advertisements.


These rules do not apply if you were told about a fault or difference to the description before you bought the item – these laws are also void if you examined the item before purchasing it and the fault was obvious.



If you have kept goods for what is considered an unreasonable amount of time you may not be entitled to a refund – refunds can also be rejected if the item has been used, worn or broken through general wear and tear.


For more information on consumer law you can check out our articles section or get in touch with us here at Access to Barristers Direct – we’d be happy to help you with any queries that you may have.