This legislation, which came into force on the 1st October, is all encompassing. It replaces the Sale of Goods Act, The Supply of Goods and Services Act and, most importantly from the Financial Services angle, the ‘Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations’. The headline change is that you can reject any faulty item and get a full refund if you do so within 30 days. Less headline, but no less important is that it will now be a lot easier for consumers to challenge hidden fees and charges.
Key terms of a contract, including price, may be assessed for fairness, after a contract is entered into, unless they are both prominent and transparent. If a supplier provides pre contract information in relation to a service, the service must comply with that information. It is fair to say that Financial Services are ahead of the game in all of this and should have nothing to fear. We are already more than compliant with the new legislation. However, there will be increased consumer awareness of their rights which all too often translates into speculative complaining. The ‘claims managers’ are probably rubbing their hands with glee.
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