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Reminder – New UK Consumer Protection Rules Introduced

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 (10:37 am) - Score 772
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The Government’s new Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 were officially introduced yesterday and have given consumers more power to take a direct right of action against traders (i.e. a retailer or service provider) who mislead or bully them into buying a service that either isn’t what you wanted or doesn’t work as intended.

The new rules mean that consumers can now launch private civil claims against traders, which can run in parallel with enforcement action taken by the relevant industry regulator. Naturally traders can reduce their expose to this, limiting it merely to a refund, by taking the right precautions. Overall the amendments boil down to three key changes.

1. Contract Escape (Full Refunds)

Consumers will now have 90 days to cancel a contract and receive a full refund if they have been misled or bullied into agreeing it (though you might only be eligible for a smaller discount if you’ve had the goods or service for over one month). Obviously no refund will be due if the goods or service have already been fully utilised.

2. Discounts

Consumers who are unable to unwind their contract may at least still be able to claim a discount, even if outside of the above time periods, and especially if they can prove that the trader bullied or mislead them into taking the related product or service.

As Trading Standards states: “For goods and services of less than £5,000 there is a fixed-percentage discount ranging from 25% for minor issues to 100% for very serious cases. Above £5,000, if the misleading or aggressive practice led the consumer to pay more than the market price for the product, the price is reduced to the market price. Otherwise, the fixed-percentage discounts will still apply.”

3. Damages

Consumers can claim damages if they have suffered losses that exceed the price paid for goods and services. These damages can cover distress as well as economic losses suffered as a result of the prohibited practice.

A copy of the new Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 has been linked and Trading Standards have also uploaded quite a useful summary of all the relevant rules, both new and old alike.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar dragoneast

    Good, of course, for those affected or argumentative enough. But money doesn’t come out of thin air. I suspect that the effects of this endless do-gooding, as always, will be that prices will rise higher for all of us, whilst the wages of many do not. So the ultimate effect, again, is the poor (who consume less, and probably complain less in my experience too) subsidising the rich (who perhaps ought to know better, but that has never been a prerequisite to a claim). But of course that won’t affect the readers of sites like this. I’ll warrant they aren’t poor (well not in financial terms).

  2. Avatar me

    @gragoeast – so close yet so far. I would hate to say it but too much MSM is not good. It produces a warped view of the economy. Here is what the MSM will not mention. There has been a formulae invented to seperate wage inflation from asset price inflation. What we have witnessed is this formulae in action for the past thirty years or more. Couple this that the banks are allowed to constantly print money, which equates to more currency that leads to currency devaluation that in turn is what is causing inflation. In short ‘fractional reserve banking’ in all its glory impoverishes all the 99.9% of the population.

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