New consumer laws will cover online purchases of apps, music and films

Consumers who buy faulty apps, music and films online will be able to claim a refund under new legislation proposed in last week's Queen's Speech.

The proposed changes are intrended to allow people to claim compensation for digital content they download which doesn't work.

If implemented, the new laws will ensure consumers are entitled to:

• Compensation if a game bought online is inaccessible or 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, making it unwatchable

The Government says it wants to make consumer protection law "fit for the 21st century". It estimates that more than 16 million people experienced at least one problem when buying digital content in 2011.

And more than £1bn was spent on films, music and software online in 2012.

By Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.