Specialist support for consumer dispute resolution
When a consumer buys a product or service, their rights are protected under the law. Understanding those rights and knowing what action you can take if a dispute arises can be challenging, which is why working with expert consumer rights solicitors is recommended.
David W Harris & Co regularly works with consumers and businesses to resolve consumer disputes. We can offer clear guidance on your rights and obligations, with the skills to find workable solutions for even the most difficult issues, usually without court proceedings.
Our dispute resolution solicitors in South Wales can help with matters including:
- Legal advice on consumer rights
- Compliance advice from our consumer law specialists
- Initiating consumer law claims
- Responding to consumer rights protection claims
- Alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes
- Court proceedings to resolve consumer disputes
Our team can assist with all aspects of consumer dispute law, including claims relating to defective products, breach of contract and breach of consumer duty for financial services.
Discuss your requirements with our consumer rights solicitors in Swansea, Pontypridd and Talbot Green
We offer a free first consultation to answer your questions and help you decide whether we are the right people to assist you.
Please use our simple online enquiry form to book a free initial chat with one of our consumer rights solicitors. We respond promptly to all enquiries.
Common questions about consumer disputes
What are my consumer rights in the UK?
As a consumer, you have various basic rights covered by different pieces of legislation, including the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the Consumer Rights Act 2015. You can read more about the specific provisions of these two acts below.
In addition to the basic consumer rights offered under the law, consumers may have additional rights based on the terms and conditions of the business the provided a product or service, as well as any other contractual terms that have been entered into.
Understanding your rights as a consumer or your obligations as a seller can be challenging, so it is important to seek specialist consumer rights law advice before raising or responding to a dispute.
What problems are classed as a consumer dispute?
A consumer dispute refers to any dispute between a consumer and the seller of a product or provider of a service. They can cover a wide range of issues, with some of the most common being disputes over faulty goods, poor service, breaches of contract and rogue traders.
What does the Consumer Protection Act cover?
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 consists of three parts covering three main areas:
- Part 1 covers liability for damage resulting from defective products (including damage to property, personal injury and death).
- Part 2 covers the government’s powers to regulate the safety of consumer products.
- Part 3 covers the criminal offence of providing a misleading price indication.
What protection does the Consumer Rights Act 2015 offer?
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 provides further protection for consumers, as well as consolidating some existing aspects of consumer protection law. Key provisions include:
- Goods being provided to consumers must be “of satisfactory quality”, “fit for the consumer’s particular purpose” and “as described”. It also grants consumers a minimum 30-day period to decide whether goods they have been sold meet these conditions and, if not, the right to reject the goods.
- For digital content, the same rights apply, except there is no right to reject the content, with consumers instead being entitled to ask for a repair, replacement, price reduction or a refund.
- For services, they must be “performed with reasonable care and skill” and “within a reasonable time frame”. The Act also established that any statements a service provider makes when the consumer is making a decision about entering into the contract or after the contract has been agreed will form binding contractual terms.
- Defining “unfair terms” of contracts that would not be legally enforceable as those which breach the principle of “good faith” and results in “significant imbalance” between the parties’ rights and obligations
- Amending the Competition Act 1998 to expand the reach of the Competition Appeal Tribunal and introduce a statutory scheme for resolving competition disputes outside of a court
How can I enforce my consumer rights?
If you are unhappy with a product or service you have been provided with, the first step should normally be to raise the issue with the business that sold you the goods or service.
Most larger businesses will have a defined complaints process and there will often be provision for resolving disputes in terms and conditions as well as other consumer contracts. You will normally need to attempt to resolve the dispute through the specified process before taking any further action and, often, a suitable outcome can be agreed in this way.
If this is not successful or there is no defined process for dealing with complaints and resolving disputes, it is sensible to seek legal advice on your consumer rights. A specialist consumer law solicitor can advise on your rights and options, then help you to take action e.g. issuing a letter of claim for any losses or other harm you have suffered.
For regulated sectors, such as financial services and energy, there are mandatory alternative dispute resolution processes that traders must use. This can often allow you to secure a good outcome without the need for court proceedings. Getting expert legal support to navigate these processes can give you the best chance of success.
Where these alternative avenues cannot produce a favourable result, it may be appropriate to refer your case to the relevant ombudsman service or you may need to initiate court proceedings. Again, getting specialist advice from a consumer law solicitor can give you the best chance of securing the outcome you need.
Our consumer dispute law fees
The legal cost of a consumer dispute will depend on the situation. It is important to have a clear understanding of the likely costs involved at the outset to ensure that these are proportionate to the value of the matter in dispute. As such, our consumer law solicitors will always provide realistic guidance about costs at the outset.
Some services can be provided on a fixed fee basis e.g. reviewing contracts and preparing letters of claim. For situations where ongoing advice and support is needed, we may work to an agreed hourly rate, with all work to be completed agreed in advance.
Speak to our consumer law solicitors in Swansea, Pontypridd and Talbot Green
To discuss your requirements with our friendly, sensitive consumer rights solicitors in South Wales, please get in touch.
Please use our simple online enquiry form to book a free initial chat with one of our expert solicitors. We respond promptly to all enquiries.