Minister's pledge to consumers

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The Independent Online
Competition and consumer affairs minister Nigel Griffiths said he is proposing measures that will give consumers more protection from unscrupulous doorstep sellers, including new gas and electricity suppliers.

Under the new proposals, put forward in a consultation paper published today, current regulations will be amended so that consumers who agree to a visit following an approach by a canvasser retain their right to a cooling off period. Griffiths said he is also proposing criminal sanctions against traders who fail to inform customers of their rights, including a maximum fine of pounds 2,500. He said the proposed regulations would apply to most sectors where the cost of the goods or services is at least pounds 35.

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