What the Consumer Rights Act 2015 means for digital content firms

With the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) coming into force on 1st October 2015, firms providing digital content to consumers, or to consumer-facing organisations, might need to re-evaluate the way they do business.

That’s because those traders who are classified as operating in the “digital content” sector will be required to meet the higher minimum statutory quality standards specifically applicable to digital content.

So, with the consumer law in mind, here is some advice for digital content companies:

Be careful with customer-facing information

Every contract to supply digital content will be assessed in line with the information you have handed out to consumers – whether that’s on an ad, on social media or any other medium – so ensure that your contracts are in keeping with every piece of customer communication and vice versa. Failure to do so could render an entire agreement clause ineffective.

Don’t tie yourself down with product descriptions

The CRA says that products must remain “as described”, which makes the wording of the product description very important indeed. If, for instance, you advertise the inclusion of an app, only for that app to be removed by its developer, you might have inadvertently breached the act.

Take care before upgrading and updating content

A business has the right to make upgrades and updates to digital products, but not if the changes warp your product out of recognition from when contracts were initially drawn up. Traders must also mention their right to make these changes within the terms and conditions of a contract.

Consider your liability position

If the digital content you’re providing causes damage to devices or content on a consumer’s device, you could be liable. Therefore, consider whether it’s worth limiting your liability for this category of loss in your terms and conditions. Meanwhile, if your content is supplied or licensed by a third party, make sure you protect your liability in your agreement with the supplier or licensor.

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