Unfair terms in consumer contracts (pre 1 October 2015) [Archived]
Unfair terms in consumer contracts (pre 1 October 2015) [Archived]

The following Commercial practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Unfair terms in consumer contracts (pre 1 October 2015) [Archived]
  • Enforcement
  • Assessment of fairness
  • Effect of a term being unfair
  • Investigative powers
  • Other avenues for enforcement

ARCHIVED: This Practice Note has been archived and is not maintained. It summarises the law, guidance and practice in relation to unfair terms in consumer contracts under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, SI 1999/2083, applicable to consumer contracts entered into before 1 October 2015. For contracts entered into after 1 October 2015, see Practice Note: Consumer Rights Act 2015—unfair terms.

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, SI 1999/2083 (UTCCR 1999) apply, with some exceptions, to contracts formed between a seller or supplier and a consumer. A seller or supplier is a person acting in the context of their trade, business or profession, whether public or private sector. Such a person may be an individual or a corporate entity. A consumer is a person acting outside the context of their trade, business or profession.

The UTCCR 1999 apply to the small print of standard form consumer contracts. They apply a test of fairness to standard terms. They do not assess the fairness of terms that govern the price and the main subject matter of the contract, as long as those terms appear in plain and intelligible language (OFT v Abbey National). Standard terms are terms that have not been individually negotiated. These terms have been drafted in advance in circumstances where the consumer has not been able to influence their substance.

Standard terms will be

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