large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Faulty download? You’re now entitled to a replacement

Starting from today, UK consumers are entitled to a replacement for faulty digital goods.

That’s because the Consumer Rights Act 2015 became official legislation in the UK today. As well as physical goods, it covers digital products like downloads of films, TV shows, games and music.

If your download isn’t “of satisfactory quality”, “fit for particular purpose” and “as described”, you’re entitled to a replacement, but not your money back. However, for physical goods, you can get your money back, a repair or a replacement.

It’ll be interesting to see how this works with regards to digital purchases. New software inevitably comes with some bugs, though thankfully mobile operating systems are free and hence exempt. But if the multiplayer mode doesn’t work in the game you just downloaded, or a streaming service’s servers go down and you’re unable to watch the film you just bought, you’re now covered.

If a download infects your computer with a virus, the person selling it may have to pay compensation for removing said virus.

The act also gives a mandatory 30-day period in which sellers have to fully refund customers on the receiving end of faulty goods. Previously, us punters were only entitled to refunds for a “reasonable time”, which was at the seller’s discretion. Most gadget makers and sellers offer some form of guarantee, but nonetheless, it’s reassuring to have it enshrined in law.

Read more: BT EE deal: Is it a good thing for consumers?

The act also covers second-hand goods sold by retailers.

If you do have a dispute, you can take your complaint to certified Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers like the Consumer Ombudsman, which will be cheaper than going through the courts. (The Consumer Ombudsman is free.) But hopefully you won’t have to resort to that.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.