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New rules: Retailers prepare for new consumer rights for misleading or aggressive sales practices

Retailers should consider reviewing their sales and advertising practices and procedures and retraining staff in advance of new rules in October.

Legal Alert

This update was published in Legal Alert – September 2014

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 will give consumers who are victims of misleading or aggressive sales practices the right to unwind sales contracts and claim refunds, discounts and compensation far more easily than before.

From 1 October 2014, consumers will have a statutory right to unwind the contract within 90 days and claim a refund (unless the product has already been wholly or partly consumed or the service has been performed), or claim a discount. For a refund, consumers must clearly reject the product bought and any refund is calculated to that point.

If the consumer claims a discount this is calculated by reference to the seriousness of the retailer's practices, starting with a 25 per cent discount for minor practices and rising to a 100 per cent discount for serious practices.

Consumers can also claim compensation for additional financial loss, alarm, distress, physical inconvenience or discomfort arising from the retailer's practice. If consumers are not satisfied with their statutory rights – for example, with the level of discount proposed - they still have the right to bring a separate civil action for misrepresentation.

Operative date
1 October 2014

Disclaimer: This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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