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Most UK businesses don't understand fair contract laws, research finds

By Kathryn Higgins

25 October 2016 at 12:02 BST

Research published by the Consumer Markets Authority has found that more than half of businesses in the United Kingdom don't understand the rules on unfair terms for their customers.


The Consumer Markets Authority has launched a new campaign in response to research that found that 54 per cent of UK businesses lack sufficient understanding of the laws that govern which terms and conditions they can and can’t impose on their customers. Many businesses were unaware that the terms of a signed contract are not legally binding if those terms are deemed unfair for the consumer. Nearly one in five businesses admitted they had never heard of the rules on unfair T&Cs, while a full 85 per cent reported being unfamiliar with the Consumer Rights Act (2015) where the rules on unfair terms are laid out.

New campaign

CMA director of communications Paul Latham commented: ‘We know that the majority of businesses want to do the right thing by their customers, but it’s worrying that many businesses are not familiar with the law. That’s why we’ve launched this campaign to help businesses protect themselves against breaking the law, and against using contracts that they can’t enforce.’ The campaign consists of a series of videos and guides designed to help businesses understand what makes a term ‘unfair’ and how T&Cs should be designed with consumers’ right in mind. 


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