Reforms to protect consumers
The government has announced today (20th July) that it is planning a range of reforms to protect the public from fake reviews and ‘traps’ hidden in subscription sign ups.
The plans are part of a Competitions and Markets Authority (CMS) consultation entitled Reforming Competition and Consumer Policy. The consultation will run until 1 October. The CMS is being given ‘teeth’ to enforce consumer law and fine companies up to 10% of their turnover.
There are key issues that this consultation is looking to resolve:
- Fake reviews – making it illegal to write, or host a fake review
- Christmas savings clubs will have to protect the money customer to avoid what happened a few years ago with Farepak
- Strengthen subscription contracts especially the area of auto-renewals
- Curbing dodgy tactics that are used to fool online shoppers. Tactics such as it not being obvious that something is a paid advert
- The government is also going to make it mandatory that companies have to undertake mediation where there is a dispute rather than expensive court cases.
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