Improving Consumer Law

What are my rights under the Bill when buying digital content?

Do you know your rights when buying digital content?

How would this work in practice?

speechWhat are my rights?

answer speechThe Consumer Rights Bill sets out what rights and remedies you would have when you pay for digital content. It clarifies that digital content would have to be:

  • of satisfactory quality,
  • fit for purpose, and
  • meet any description.

If the digital content didn’t meet these quality rights, you would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of the digital content where practical, or failing that (that is, if the repair or replacement would take an unreasonable amount of time or cannot be done without significantly inconveniencing you), you would be entitled to some money back. You would only be entitled to return the faulty digital content for an immediate refund if the digital content was in a physical item (eg it is on a disk or embedded in goods such as a digital camera).

Other digital content rights would allow the trader to update the digital content within the terms of the contract, entitle you to a refund if the trader sold you the digital content without having the right to do so, and entitle you to a repair (if possible) or limited compensation if the trader fails to use reasonable care and skill to prevent the digital content (whether free or paid for) from damaging your device or other digital content

 

speechMy e-book’s not working as I was told it would. What can I do?

answer speechYou have downloaded an interactive e-book for your children and they have really enjoyed playing it and interacting with the characters in the book. Now you download a second e-book also described as having “fully interactive content” but this time, although the characters are animated, all you can do is move through the pages in the book. The content is simply not interactive. The book therefore does not meet its description. Under the Bill you would be entitled to a repair or replacement of the e-book to bring it into line with how it was described. If this does not resolve the issue, you would be entitled to keep the e-book but to have some money back.
What does the Bill say: The digital content quality rights in the Bill set out that digital content would have to meet any description given with it. If the digital content didn’t meet these quality rights, the consumer would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of the digital content where practical, or failing that (that is, if the repair or replacement take an unreasonable amount of time or cannot be done without significantly inconveniencing the consumer), the consumer would be entitled to some money back.

speechMy DVD won’t play, what can I do?

answer speechYou buy a film on a DVD and the film won’t play even though the disk appears to be in good condition. The digital content on the DVD is not of satisfactory quality. You would be entitled to return the DVD for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.
What does the Bill say: The digital content quality rights set out that the digital content must be of satisfactory quality. If the digital content didn’t meet the quality rights, and if the digital content were in physical form (e.g. on a disk or embedded in goods such as a digital camera), the consumer would be entitled to return the faulty digital content for an immediate refund (within 30days), or if they preferred they could ask for a repair or replacement of the disk.

speechMy avatar’s not responding, what can I do?

answer speechYou play a freemium computer game and have spent quite a bit of money on in-game (known as ‘in-app’) purchases to improve your character. You’ve also earned some points through game play which you have also used to build your character. Ever since you last upgraded your character following an in-game purchase it has failed to work properly. You would be entitled to a repair or a replacement because even though the game was “free”, the in-game purchase was not working as expected. If a suitable repair or replacement is not possible then you would be entitled to some money back.
What does the Bill say: The digital content quality rights set out that the digital content must be of satisfactory quality. If the digital content didn’t meet the quality rights, you would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of any in-game purchases that you have made even if the game itself was “free”.

speechMy cloud-based software’s not working properly. What can I do?

answer speechYou pay to access some software on the cloud, but it is not streaming properly to your device. You are sure the problem isn’t with your bandwidth, your ISP or with your device, because you are still able to stream movies successfully. It is only accessing this software that is a problem – it is not of satisfactory quality. You would be entitled to a repair or replacement of the digital content. As this is a time-specific issue repair/replacement may not be possible so you would be entitled to some money back.”
What does the Bill say: The digital content quality rights set out that digital content must be fit for purpose. If the digital content didn’t meet these quality rights, the consumer would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of the digital content where practical, or failing that (that is, if the repair or replacement would take an unreasonable amount of time or cannot be done without significantly inconveniencing the consumer), the consumer may be entitled to some money back.

speechMy MP3 keeps stopping, what can I do?

answer speechYou pay to download a music file but it keeps stopping halfway through. You are sure that this is not a problem with your ISP service or with your device. You would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of the file. In practice this would probably mean you would get another download. You would only be entitled to some money back if repeated downloads failed to resolve the problem and you could demonstrate that the problem was not incompatibility with your device or music player.
What does the draft Bill say: The digital content quality rights set out that the digital content must be of satisfactory quality. If the digital content didn’t meet these quality rights, the consumer would be entitled to a repair or a replacement of the digital content where practical, or failing that (that is, if the repair or replacement would take an unreasonable amount of time or cannot be done without significantly inconveniencing the consumer), the consumer would be entitled to some money back.