Other laws that protect your consumer rights
The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 protects you against trading practices.
Unfair trading practices include:
A commercial practice is misleading if it gives false information or sets out to deceive consumers.
Example: the mileage on a car has been tampered with to show 80,000 miles when it should be 150,000 miles.
A commercial practice can also mislead if it omits or hides material information or provides it in a manner which is unclear, unintelligible, ambiguous or untimely.
Example: Not stating that an additional charge applies e.g. delivery charges or taxes.
A commercial practice is aggressive if it causes a consumer to reach a decision about goods or services that they may otherwise not have made, had they not been subjected to harassment, coercion or undue influence.
Example: A doorstep trader who pressurises you to pay in cash for home repairs and brings you to the bank to withdraw cash immediately.
In addition, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 introduced 31 specific banned practices. These include:
The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) gives you protection before you buy goods, services and digital content (such as downloaded music, e-books and apps). It does this by making it clear what information you need to be given before making the decision to buy.
The law covers sales made in person e.g. in a shop or in your home, or remotely i.e online, including auction sites and apps stores, or by catalogue.
The law states:
For distance sales, the law gives you 14 days to cancel from the date goods are delivered or the service contract is agreed. There are exceptions to this, including perishable or custom-made goods. You have the right to cancel a digital download up until the point the digital download process begins.
Refunds to consumers must be issued within 14 days of seller receiving the returned goods.
Refunds for goods bought online, by catalogue, phone or other forms of distance selling can be withheld until the consumer has returned the goods, and traders can deduct money if it appears the item has been used.
When the main contract is cancelled, all related contracts should also be cancelled by the trader, e.g. insurance cover or finance for a mobile phone or sofa.
If a service has begun during the 14 days cooling off period, all labour and materials provided to date will need to be paid for if the customer then decides to cancel the contract.
The following practices have been banned:
Note: It is now against the law for traders to apply a surcharge to payments made by credit or debit card.
There are some types of contracts that these laws do not apply to. These include: