Complete Clarity Solicitors


New Rights for Consumers

New rights came into force on 1st October 2014 that give consumers greater powers to challenge rogue traders and get their money back.

Under the changes, consumers who are bullied or misled into buying services or goods they neither need nor want will now have a period of up to 90 days to take legal action.

According to the Government, the reforms will especially benefit the elderly and vulnerable, with National Audit Office figures showing that those over the age of 55 lose an average of nearly £1,100 when they are victims of rogue traders. Crime reporting agency Action Fraud estimates that consumers suffer detriment of at least £6.6 billion every year due to unfair trading.

The new rights will introduce:

  • A new 90 day period for victims to get out of a contract. Beyond this period consumers will still be able to get a discount on the price paid, as much as 100% depending on the actions of the trader. At present there is no right to a discount. Consumers can currently seek damages in the civil courts but it is extremely complex.
  • A right to damages for any additional losses or stress suffered as a result of the actions of the trader.
  • A brand new right to take personal action through the civil court for misleading or aggressive demands for payment, for example aggressive or misleading debt collection. At present there is no legislative right for consumers to do this.

The new rights form part of the Government’s radical overhaul of the UK’s consumer landscape to make sure consumer law is easier for consumers to understand. It includes a new Consumer Rights Bill to streamline key consumer rights covering contracts for goods, services, digital content and the law relating to unfair terms in consumer contracts in one place. The bill is currently going through Parliament.

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