Consumer Rights Act day—how does it apply to unfair terms?

Consumer Rights Act day—how does it apply to unfair terms?

On 1 October every year a flutter of new laws cascades onto the desks of lawyers throughout the land: a harvest of obligations, repeals, transitional provisions and, if truth be told, sentences so long they can be seen from near space.

Hours are spent trying to digest how to progress from the ancien régime to the brave new legal world.

This year is no exception.

Today sees the coming into force of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. It heralds the biggest change to consumer law in a generation.

All this week we have been looking at how this new law applies to digital content:


And goods:

Today, we're going to have a quick look at what the Consumer Rights Act has to say on unfair terms in consumer contracts.

The big 'takeaway message' for any business is that an unfair term in a consumer contract is not binding on the consumer. A company can write whatever it likes in its 'small print' with consumers, but if it offends the sensibilities of this law—easily done—it is simply wasting toner ink or shouting into the wind. And, in fairness, nobody likes to do that.

What's more, from today, the law extends to consumer notices. From plaques on a wall to the backs of tickets, these will not be binding on a consumer if they are unfair, although, consumers can decide to rely on an unfair term or notice if they are so minded.

So what is an u

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