Government sets out plans for measures to end hidden charges
Saturday 18 August 2012
New consumer rights measures are to be introduced to stop customers being ripped off by extra charges.
The Government is setting out plans to help ensure that costs and contract details are clearly set out, so that consumers have all the information they need before spending their money.
Under the new measures, customer service helplines will not be able to charge above the basic rate for calls.
Consumers will also have to "opt in" to agree to make any additional payments on top of the price for the product itself - meaning that companies will not be allowed to use pre-ticked boxes on booking forms.
Fees charged for a particular method of payment are also set to be cut, signalling an end to credit card surcharges.
The plans are part of the European Consumer Rights Directive. A consultation on how to implement them is being launched on Monday.
Consumer Affairs Minister Norman Lamb said: "This is an area where Europe can make a big impact on our day-to-day lives. Many people will have been ripped off at some point by hidden online charges while booking a holiday, premium rate helplines when returning a purchase or disproportionate and often unexpected charges for paying with credit or debit cards.
"The Consumer Rights Directive will put an end to certain bad business practices and help consumers make well-informed decisions when buying products or services.
"It will also boost business confidence, setting out clearer rules and responsibilities and cutting red tape by reducing compliance costs."
The proposals also cover the information to be given to a consumer before they buy products on the internet, and the cancellation rights they have after purchase. There will also be clarification on deadlines for deliveries of products and who is responsible if there is a problem.
Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said: "Protecting consumers from hidden online charges, cracking down on rip-off premium rate customer helplines and improving delivery services are actions Which? welcomes.
"Strengthening consumer rights is better for businesses and benefits the economy. However, we're surprised the consultation to ban excessive debit and credit card surcharges has still not been published.
"More than 50,000 people supported our campaign, so we hope the Government sticks to their promise to ban these charges by the end of the year."
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...