Len Dastard reports - Government attempt to consolidate consumer protection legislation

Bitterwallet-Len-Dastard-featuredDía bueno, hermanos y hermanas. The last couple of weeks I have spoilt you with consumer news. I mean, you may remember that we had news of Ofcom putting an end to rolling contracts for broadband which was closely followed by news that some customers may be able to cancel their Vodafone contract. On the Vodafone point, I have received some information from our avid readers so I will be in contact again shortly. Now for the next instalment of good news...

Anyone who has had to do their own legal research will know all too well that consumer law is in a bit of a mess. I mean, there are currently 12 Acts/Regulations which cover the rights of the UK consumer. It seems odd that something quite so (relatively) specific should be spread out so far and wide.  Current consumer legislation to be consolidated will include:

Sale of Goods Act 1979

Distance Selling Regulations 2000

Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations

So, the Government are therefore proposing a new "Consumer Bill of Rights" which they say will "consolidate, clarify and strengthen" consumer protection legislation. This proposal means that there will simply just be one piece of law that covers all existing consumer legislation and this will also implement the new EU Directive which is expected to be implemented in 2013. We have already covered this Directive and you can find it here.

Ed Davey, Consumer Minister, said in a statement "Consumer law in the UK comes from a variety of Acts and regulation, making it complex and confusing. This is bad news for consumers and business as people dont know their rights and the cost of compliance for business is higher then necessary. This Bill will give everyone a single place to find all their consumer rights".

The new Bill also intends to provide further protection by giving more time to customers considering "backing out" of a contract if they have been the victim of aggressive selling tactics. Something which the new EU Directive is looking to deal with.

Will this mean more consumers will be confident bringing their own claims in court? Will we see retailers providing training to their staff in consumer law? I am struggling to find any negatives from this news and look forward to it being implemented.

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