Problems with digital content or service
The Consumer Rights Act 2022 (pdf) introduces new rights when you buy digital content or services. This page explains these consumer rights. They only apply if you bought digital content or services on or after 29 November 2022.
You have different rights if you have a problem with digital content or services you bought on or before 28 November 2022.
What digital content and services are covered?
The Consumer Rights Act 2022 covers digital content, for example, computer games, audio and video files and digital services, for example, streaming services, cloud computing and social media.
Read more detail about the types of content and services covered by consumer law.
If something goes wrong
If things go wrong it is always the seller who should put things right. The seller must resolve any issue, so the content or service meets what was agreed in the contract.
The seller must correct the issue for free, within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to you. A reasonable time means the shortest possible time to fix the issue.
If it is not possible or too expensive for the seller to resolve the issue, you have the right to either a price reduction or refund. If the issue with the content or service is minor, you can only ask for a price reduction.
Right to a refund
If the seller does not supply the content or service you ordered and as agreed in the contract, you can ask them to provide the content or services as soon as possible.
You have the right to end the contract and get a refund where:
- The seller tells you they cannot or will not provide the content or service within the additional time
- You told the seller you needed the content or service for a specific date and the trader agreed to this
- The seller did not have the right to supply the content or service you ordered
What you must do to end the contract
You must tell the trader that the contract is being terminated. You can do this verbally or in writing.
You must not use the content or service you are cancelling and you must make sure nobody else uses it.
If the content came with any physical device, you must return this to the seller, if they ask for it. The seller must cover any costs for the return.
Where the content or service contract is terminated, any ancillary contract is also automatically terminated.
Getting your refund
The trader must give you your refund within 14 days. The refund must be in the same form as the original payment, unless you agree some other method. For example, if your original payment was in cash, you can insist on any refund also being in cash.
Right to a price reduction
If you prefer, you can ask for a proportionate reduction in price instead of a refund. A proportionate reduction in price must reflect the reduced value of the content or services to you.
If the issue with the content or service is minor, you can only ask for a price reduction. If there is a dispute, it is up to the trader to prove that the issues are minor.
You already paid in full for the service
If you have already paid fully for the content or services, the seller must refund you the difference in price due to the issue. You must get the refund within 14 days and in the same form as the original payment, unless you agree some other method.
Right to withhold payment
If the content or service is not up to standard, you can withhold a proportionate amount of any outstanding payment. You must tell the trader if you choose to withhold any payment.
The amount you withhold must match the reduction in value due to the issue.
Where to get more help
If you want to make a complaint, always approach the seller first, to give them the chance to put things right.
You can get more advice if you want to make a complaint about a digital content or service.
Take your complaint further
If your complaint is not resolved within a reasonable timeframe or you are not happy with the response, you can:
- Use out-of-court procedures such as the European Consumer Centres Network (for cross-border disputes only) and Online Dispute Resolution (for national and cross-border online disputes)
- Take a claim against the seller using the Small Claims Procedure . For cross-border disputes within the EU, you can use the European Small Claims Procedure.
- Contact the card provider and ask them to reverse the transaction, if you paid by credit or debit card. This is known as chargeback. Some other payment methods also provide protection schemes (for example, PayPal buyer protection). The CCPC has more information on chargeback.
The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) can give you more information on your rights if you have problems with digital content or services.