New laws are planned for faulty apps, music and films

Smartphone apps
New laws should make it easier to get a refund for faulty apps, films and music

The government has announced planned new laws making it easier to claim a refund for faulty apps, music and films bought online.

Measures included in the Queen's Speech are designed to give consumers protection.

The changes are designed to allow people to claim compensation for digital content which doesn't work.

Consumer minister Jo Swinson said the government wanted to "make sure the law is fit for the 21st century".

The proposed changes to the law are intended to make it clear that people are entitled to:

  • Compensation if a game bought online is repeatedly inaccessible or it keeps freezing
  • A replacement or money back for apps which continually freeze or have constant bugs
  • A replacement or money back for a film streamed online which is unwatchable

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills claims more than £1bn was spent on films, music and software online in 2012.

The government estimates that more than 16 million people experienced at least one problem with digital content in 2011.

Ministers say changes will give consumers greater confidence in knowing their rights when they buy things online.

There are eight different pieces of legislation covering consumer rights at the moment.

The Department for Business acknowledges that changes are needed, admitting that consumer law in the UK is "unnecessarily complex, overlapping and confusing".

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