MPs hear evidence from MSE's Martin Lewis on the Consumer Rights Bill

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Our goal is to post up information on work undertaken in the House of Commons that has a consumer focus but which may not be highlighted elsewhere.

We have posted this on the Consumer Rights board because we thought some of you might be interested in the topic of debate. We encourage discussion and comments concerning the topic or content of this thread.

Consumer Rights Bill: Public Bill Committee – Oral Evidence Sessions
Tuesday 11 February 8.55am and 2.00pm

From 2.00pm this afternoon witnesses including Martin Lewis from Moneysaving Expert will be giving evidence to the Public Bill Committee to support MPs scrutiny of the Consumer Rights Bill.

Witnesses expected to attend the afternoon session include:
  • Trading Standards Institute, Office of Fair Trading, and Advertising Standards Authority
  • Martin Lewis,
  • UK Interactive Entertainment
  • Jenny Willott MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

About the Consumer Rights Bill:

The Bill is designed to set out a framework that consolidates in one place key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts.

The Bill also introduces easier routes for consumers and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to challenge anti-competitive behaviour through the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT).

In addition, the Bill would consolidate and simplify enforcers' powers as listed in Schedule 5 to investigate potential breaches of consumer law and clarifies that certain enforcers (Trading Standards) can operate across local authority boundaries.

Finally, the Bill would give the civil courts and public enforcers greater flexibility to take the most appropriate action for consumers when dealing with breaches or potential breaches of consumer law.

For more information about the Bill go to the Consumer Rights Bill Page

About the Public Bill Committee:

Public Bill Committees are different to Commons Select Committees. PBCs have the power to receive written evidence from outside organisations and members of the public, and to take oral evidence from interested parties, as part of their consideration of the Bill.

After the Committee has taken oral evidence, it goes through the bill, debating each clause of the Bill and any amendments proposed to the text. Once the Committee has gone through the Bill, it reports the Bill - in its amended form, if changes have been made - back to the House.

How to Watch:

The 2.00pm Session can be viewed on Parliament TV (Silverlight or Windows Media Player required to stream TV): Parliament TV Player

We will post up the transcript of the session as soon as it becomes available.

Previous evidence sessions:

Witnesses who attended the session this morning from 8.55am included:
  • Which?, and Citizen's Advice
  • Law Commission of England, and Scottish Law Commission
  • Confederation of British Industry, British Retail Consortium, and Federation of Small Businesses
  • Local Government Association

The 8.55am Session is still available to watch and can be viewed on Parliament TV (Silverlight or Windows Media Player required to stream TV): Parliament TV Player

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  • TrinitrotolueneTrinitrotoluene Forumite
    518 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Some interesting changes from reading this bill:
    The time limit for exercising the short-term right to reject (unless subsection (4)
    applies) is the end of 30 days beginning with the first day after these have all

    Essentially changing "reasonable time" to a fixed limit of 30 days for the consumers right to a full refund for faulty goods.

    Another interesting point:
    (5) A consumer who has the right to a price reduction and the final right to reject
    may only exercise one (not both), and may only do so in one of these
    (a) after one repair or one replacement, the goods do not conform to the
    (b) because of section 23(3) the consumer can require neither repair nor
    replacement of the goods; or
    (c) the consumer has required the trader to repair or replace the goods, but
    the trader is in breach of the requirement of section 23(2)(a) to do so
    within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to the

    I read this as if they have repaired/replaced the goods once and it continues to either be faulty or need repairing, the consumer can reject and get a refund or partial refund.
    If my post helped you in anyway, please hit the "Thanks" button! Please note any advice I give is followed at your own risk!
  • "The draft Consumer Rights Bill doesn't address how consumers can enact their rights, Martin Lewis says..."
    Read the full story:

    Consumer Rights Bill will boost rights but it's too complex, Martin Lewis says


    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply. If you aren’t sure how it all works, read our New to Forum? Intro Guide.
  • I_luv_catsI_luv_cats Forumite
    14.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    There lies the problem.

    If you have trouble with Energy, Finance, Water, Banks, Telecoms there's methodology in place. BUT

    Trouble with your toaster then where do you go??

    I've successfully complained about energy, Telecoms and banks using the services of the relevant ombudsman. BUT

    Retail is difficult, I've used a consumer reference book, written to a particular CEO, used social media or previously rang Consumer Direct / Trading Standard to aid a genuine complaint.
  • TrinitrotolueneTrinitrotoluene Forumite
    518 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Martin did really well with his answers, I hope they take your comments on board, Martin. Ultimately, they need to make this bill understandable and accessible for the general public to understand, with clear points on what their rights are.
    If my post helped you in anyway, please hit the "Thanks" button! Please note any advice I give is followed at your own risk!
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 Posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    The 'sadfarts' he was talking about was funny. I'm sure Martin wasn't talking about the commitee. :eek::D

    Martin starts at 47:17 and finishes at 1:16:16 :cool::)
  • mo786ukmo786uk Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    consumrs will not need to know about the vast majority of the bill (i.e the actual text).

    the bits they will need to know are limited - there is scope to clear it up but it will never be that simple as it needs to be flexible.
  • I think it's important to remember that many consumers are also sellers, and that the rights of the seller also have to be balanced against that of the consumer.

    I wonder whether something that's very simple can also remain fair to all parties in a contract.
  • Sometimes it would be better to be alowed to go straight to the manufacturer. For example: I had a new Baxi back boiler installed and the pump failed, it had clearly been faulty. But Baxi of course weren't interested, they were happy to have sold their dodgy pump, and I didn't want to claim against the boiler man - it wasn't his fault, and I'm sure he would have got into trouble if he had claimed from Baxi. Perhaps this is the reason that boilers are so unreliable...
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