New Rights for Consumers under Unfair Trading Regulations

For consumer contracts made on or after 1 October 2014, amendments to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 introduce a new civil right of redress. 

Part 4A of the 2008 Regulations grants additional rights to consumers, such that where a right exists under Part 4A, this will replace the right to make a claim under the Misrepresentation Act.

There are three pre-conditions which a consumer must satisfy in order to have a right of redress under Part 4A.  These are as follows:

  • There must be either a business to consumer contract, a consumer to business contract, or a contract under which a consumer makes a payment to a trader for the supply of a product.  
  • The trader must have engaged in a prohibited practice in relation to the product.
  • The prohibited practice must be "a significant factor" in the customer's decision to enter the contract or make the payment. 

The forms of commercial practice which will amount to prohibited practices are either misleading actions under Regulation 5, or aggressive practices under Regulation 7.

Where a business engages in either of the prohibited practices, and by doing so has a significant influence on the consumer's decision to enter the contract or make the payment, the customer will be entitled to the civil remedies provided under Part 4A.  Accordingly, the consumer will have the right to either unravel the contract, claim a discount or claim damages. 

The amendment to the Regulations represents another major step in the trend towards strengthening the rights of consumers and will provide customers with another alternative remedy against businesses which fail to comply with the Regulations. 

Should you require any further information in respect of the amendments, please contact the Regulatory Team.

Posted on: 21/10/2014

This article is for general guidance only. It provides useful information in a concise form. Action should not be taken without obtaining specific legal advice.

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