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What consumers need to know


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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7 February 2012

Consumer need to watch out for liability clauses. Suppliers will almost always seek to restrict exclude or limit liability under UK law.

Consumer need to know that a business cannot limit or exclude their liability at will.

The Law.

The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 or UCTA is the starting point. However this has been somewhat overtaken by regulation 8(1) of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/2083) ('UTCCR 1999')(to be read in tandem with UCTA 1977) which provides that consumer contracts may be unfair if they have not been individually negotiated and are not binding on the consumer.

An unfair term is one which is 'contrary to the requirement of good faith causes a significant imbalance in the parties' rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer' (Regulation 5(1) (SI 1999/2083)). A list of the types of clauses that may be caught by this is set out in Schedule 2 (SI 1994/3159) of the UTCCR 1999 and these include exclusion and limitation clauses.

The ever excellent OFT provides guidance and care on the Regulations. It is going to become a hot potato as the consumer will be the king and suppliers will realise that it must listen to its customers.

Michael Coyle is a Solicitor Advocate and can be contacted at Lawdit is a commercial law firm based in Southampton UK

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-05-24 19:10:03 in Legal Articles

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