Businesses to be consulted on changes to consumer law
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10 Nov 2008
The Government has today opened a consultation on European plans to create a
uniform set of consumer rights across Europe.
The new Consumer Rights Directive sets out proposals for harmonised rules on
several key consumer areas including protection against unfair contract terms
and rules on faulty goods.
New rules on shopping over the Internet are also proposed, as well as an
extension of rights for consumers who use door-step sellers. The European
Commission's plans incorporate proposals put forward by the UK for
If the proposal becomes law consumers shopping from anywhere in the EU will
* A 14 day cooling-off period for purchases made online or on the door-step;
* Consistent protections when goods are not delivered;
* Clearer rules on the responsibilities of both traders and consumers in
* Stronger protections for consumers buying at home from doorstep-sellers.
The proposal will also seek to create consistent rules on what rights
consumers have when goods are faulty. In the UK, consumers have a legal right to
reject faulty goods and ask for a refund. The European Commission are proposing
a different system that would allow the trader to offer repair or replacement,
with a refund only being legally required in a more limited range of
The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) will
consult on the proposals until February 2nd.
BERR has also asked the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission to
look at the legal remedies available to consumers when they buy goods which do
not conform to contract. The Commissions launch their consultation on these
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-11-10 17:31:22 in Legal Articles