Government publishes two draft regulations overhauling consumer rights

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has published two draft regulations on consumer rights law:

  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Payments) Regulations 2013 (Consumer Contracts Regulations) will implement the remainder of the Consumer Rights Directive.  The draft Consumer Contract Regulations set out certain information requirements which must be given by a trader to a consumer before and after making a sale.  The information differs depending on whether the sale takes place on-premises, off-premises or at a distance.  There are also new cancellation rights, allowing a consumer to cancel a distance or off-premises contract without reason during a given period.  The cancellation period is extended from the current 7 calendar days to 14 days after the day on which the contract is entered into.
  • The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading (Amendment) Regulations 2013 (Unfair Trading Regulations) are intended to give a private right of redress to consumers against businesses carrying out misleading or aggressive practices.  Although the current Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 provide that misleading and aggressive commercial practices by businesses are a criminal offence, in practice this is enforced by the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards and consumers are left without a direct remedy.  The proposed Unfair Trading Regulations would give direct remedies for consumers who have been the victim of such practices, including a right to unwind the contract and a right to a discount on the price paid.

 

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills invites comments on the draft regulations by 11 October 2013.  More detail is available using the following links:

Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Payments) Regulations 2013
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading (Amendment) Regulations 2013

 

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