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Consumer Protection: is your business compliant?

More than a year on from the introduction of the landmark Consumer Rights Act 2015 (CRA), there is still ongoing discussion on how best to protect the interests of consumers. In the much-awaited post-Brexit budget 2017, the Government announced that the markets which are not working efficiently or fairly will undergo further consumer protection measures.

The Government’s crackdown comes amid concern that, even with the introduction of the CRA, Terms and Conditions are now so long and full of legal and financial jargon that customers cannot be expected to read or understand them. The Government’s intention is to incorporate new legislation which will require companies to shorten or simplify their Terms and Conditions. Previously there had been little incentive for companies to improve their Terms and Conditions but the Government now intends to examine a range of options to make them clearer and more accessible to consumers.

Potential areas for change:

  • ‘Tick boxes’ to agree that a consumer has read Terms and Conditions – the Government is to decide whether it is no longer acceptable for companies to hide behind such unreasonably long terms as most consumers admit that they do not always read them.
  • Terms and Conditions to become shorter or simpler – to make key points more prominent and obvious to save consumers hours of reading.
  • The Government is to develop proposals to protect consumers from facing payments when a free trial ends or when a subscription is renewed.

So where does this leave you and your business?
Proposals around renewals, free trials and more concise contracts are not covered by current law and therefore clearly aim to address common complaints raised by consumers. It is unclear exactly how the proposed changes will be implemented but, in the meantime, this is a useful reminder to businesses to ensure your Terms and Conditions and trade practices are CRA compliant.

For further information of consumer rights and advice on complying with the CRA, contact the Commercial team on 0113 220 6270.

About the Author

Luisa D'Alessandro


As head of the commercial team Luisa has a wealth of commercial law experience and advises clients…

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