New consumer rights in force on 1 October—are you ready? (Part 1)

New consumer rights in force on 1 October—are you ready? (Part 1)

The first of October.

Most years a flurry of new laws come into force on this date. This year is no different.

So what is on the legal smörgåsbord this autumn?

Pickled herring? Beetroot salad? Crisp breads?

Not exactly.

But if businesses sell any of these products to consumers, be warned: from the 1 October, if traders mislead consumers or sell goods or services to them in an aggressive manner, rules will be in force which will give customers significant new rights of redress.

The new law applies to contracts involving consumers in almost all industries (and not just to purveyors of Scandinavian, buffet-style foodstuffs).

So what is happening from a legal point of view?

The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 insert three new remedies into the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

This means that consumers who have been treated unlawfully, may be entitled, depending on the circumstances, to rely on some or all of the following significant new remedies:

  • right to a discount
  • right to unwind the contract, and
  • right to damages.

The first two are known as the ‘standard remedies’.

The last one, the right to damages, is not a standard remedy and is only available if a customer can prove that, for example, he or she has lost money.

In today's post, we will concentrate on the first new right. We will look at the other two rights in future posts.

The right to a discount

As the above graphic shows, there is a new sliding scale available to consumers where they may

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