Consumer rights concern problems with any goods, services or items that students buy from any commercial outlet e.g .mobile phone, gym membership, repair bills.
Students also have a contractual relationship with the University for their course and services. This means student rights are protected by consumer law, e.g. if the course or services are not as advertised, if there are hidden costs, or unreasonable changes are made to a course’s costs or content. The University are still allowed to make reasonable changes under consumer law, but they must strike a fair balance between their obligations and student rights.
The Competition and Markets Authority has produced this guidance for undergraduate students. The protection also applies to postgraduate students.
What can the SAC do?
The SAC has access to a large portfolio of resources to help students with consumer issues, as well as empowering students to be able to tackle the issues with the relevant legislation or right.
However a consumer issue within the University would normally be expected to be raised the internal complaints procedure initially. An adviser can discuss this with students in an appointment and more information about complaints is available here. Students do also have the option to take legal action against the University if they wish but the Student Advice Centre can’t provide support with this.