Consumer Rights – Terms & Conditions

The Consumer Rights Act, now 8 months old, along with consumer protection regulations are two pieces of the government’s strategy to stop rogue traders, safeguard customers and stimulate the economy.

A third piece of legislation, in relation to the contract terms and conditions used by businesses, looks like it’s on its way, with the opening of a consultation by the Department of Business Innovations and Skills this month.

Research conducted in the lead up to the Consumer Rights Act, revealed the majority of consumers don’t look at, let alone read, the T’s & C’s, largely because they’re too long, the print’s too small and the language virtually Shakespearian. Unsurprisingly, sales staff and employees are none the wiser for the same reasons.

While some of the outdated terms would fall foul of the Unfair Contract Terms Act, preventing businesses from relying on them, having to rely on the Court to make such a decision, is an unnecessary burden on the justice system and dissuasive for many customers.
Simply dealing with the symptoms, rather than the cause, takes too long and costs the treasury and the economy too much.
As a result, businesses will have to bear the costs of reviewing their T’s & C’s along with the training for customer facing staff. In addition of course of the financial penalty by way of fines for any transgressions as well as the publication of the offences.