Consumers to get new rights to tackle rogue traders
Wednesday 28 March 2012
Consumers will gain new legal rights against misleading and aggressive traders under proposals outlined today.
Those exploited by scams and rip-offs will have a "clear and easy route to redress" under the reforms drawn up by the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission, entitling them to a refund, discount or damages.
The commissions said a large proportion of victims were among the most vulnerable in society, with housebound and older people facing a particular threat from high-pressure doorstep selling.
Existing laws governing misleading and aggressive practices meant it was difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to get their money back, they added.
Law Commissioner David Hertzell said: "Recent research by the Office of Fair Trading shows that elderly and vulnerable consumers are being systematically targeted by these unfair trading practices.
"We have an ageing population and, without reform, this victimisation of the vulnerable can only get worse. By simplifying the law, our recommended reforms will give more confidence to consumers and help drive rogue traders out of the market place, where currently they damage the reputation and livelihood of good, honest businesses."
Scottish Law Commissioner Professor Hector MacQueen added: "Consultees strongly supported our reforms. We hope that our recommendations will be included in the Government's proposed Consumer Bill of Rights."
Which? consumer group executive director Richard Lloyd said: "Consumers are fed up with high-pressure selling tactics. If someone is misled or bullied into buying unsuitable products or services, then they should have the right to get their money back and be compensated.
"These recommendations represent a step forward for consumer rights. We look forward to the Government implementing these reforms and giving consumers the better protection they need against rogue traders."
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "For too long the law has neglected to recognise that people should get their money back when they have been subjected to pressure selling. Complex laws on misrepresentation have also failed consumers who have been blatantly misled by sales people. We need a simple consumer law to help consumers get a refund or compensation in these cases so that shoppers aren't left with a sting in their pocket, and we need it fast.
"We welcome the recognition that when a business uses aggressive and misleading practices, including aggressive demands for payment, they both break the law and need to put things right for the consumers on the receiving end."
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...