New consumer rights against aggressive or misleading sales practice | DMA

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New consumer rights against aggressive or misleading sales practice

New consumer rights rules came fully into force on 1 October 2014 giving people more power to seek financial redress. Under the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 consumers can take direct action against traders who have engaged in an aggressive or misleading practice.

Consumers will be able to undo the contract and get their money back, or receive a discount on the purchase price. They will also be able to claim damages not only for consequential financial losses but also for distress, alarm or physical inconvenience or discomfort.

If an aggressive or misleading practice is proved, there is strict liability in terms of a refund or discount. However the trader has a defence to a claim for damages (the due diligence defence) if they can show that the practice occurred as a result of a mistake or some other factor beyond their control, and they took reasonable precautions to avoid the practice occurring.

It is extremely unlikely that DMA members need to be concerned about these changes but members should be aware of the increased consumer rights brought in by these regulations.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has issued guidance on the Regulations with practical examples to explain the new provisions.
As always if members have queries on the new Regulations, they can contact the legal team at legaladvice@dma.org.uk

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