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Legal Action

How to use the Misrepresentation Act 1967

Misrepresentation Act 1967
Been mis-sold a contract? Use the Misrepresentation Act 1967

This is a much underused Law. (It doesn’t cover Scotland but Scottish Law is broadly similar). But as well as reading this post you should also see the more updated law Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (updated 2014). It protects the consumer from being mis-led or mis-sold goods or services. If you enter into a contract and purchase an item or service because you believed a statement (not an opinion) regarding it, then you can end the contract, get a refund and claim compensation. There are three types of Misrepresentation where a false statement was made:

Fraudulently – statement made by someone that they know is untrue, believe it is untrue or is made recklessly
Negligently – statement made carelessly or without reasonable grounds for believing its truth.
Innocently – statement made without fault

Fraudulent/negligent statements

If you entered a contract as a result of a fraudulent or negligent statement you can cancel the contract. You can also claim damages in most cases. These claims are on the basis of negligence or fraud. The person who made the misrepresentation has to disprove the negligence. So for example, if you book a holiday on the basis that it is a holiday where children are not allowed and find that when you arrive the place is overrun with children then this is a clear breach. I used the Act  as part of a complaint for a story regarding misrepresenting a holiday booking.

Innocent statements

This is considered to be when either party enters into a contract having reasonable grounds for believing that his or her false statement was true. The contract is usually just cancelled in this situation.

Under Section 2(2) Misrepresentation Act 1967 the court has the discretion to award damages instead of allowing you to end the contract if it deems it appropriate. It cannot award both, judged on nature of misrepresentation and losses suffered.

Limitations

If you chose to continue with the contract although you were aware of the misrepresentation you will not be able to end the contract or claim damages. For example if you booked a holiday knowing that the hotel described in the brochure was family friendly but you knew this was a mis-print due to other factors in the brochure or had had it pointed out to you and you proceeded with the booking you will have, in law, “affirmed” the contract.

You need to act quickly after discovering the misrepresentation. For example, if you have been sold a mobile ‘phone contract on the basis of receiving 500 free texts a month and you have continued to use the ‘phone for a few months before complaining about being charged for them a court may say that you should have complained the first month in which you were charged. All cases are different though and are assessed as such.

I quoted this Act in a case against NatWest and Sunmaster. Which category of statement do you think they fell into? Have you used this Act? Will you now you know about it?!

More recent Acts

People think of misrepresentation and think ah there’s a law about that. Yup this one. However, you now have more cover with more recent laws, so you should also see Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (updated 2014).

You are also covered by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 if the item does not match the description, is not fit for purpose or of satisfactory quality.

 

More details on how to complain in the book, information, advice, laws and template letters How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

 

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Latest News

The Real Reason Tesco Clarke Was Pushed!

Because he never listened to anyone, least of all the customers.

child with fingers in her ears

Just like a child he thought he knew best, but unlike the child who learns to listen…

Who’s Philip Clark?

Philip Clarke was the CEO of Tesco from 2011 to 2014. During that period he frittered away 1 billion pounds of Tesco’s money on a failed recovery plan in the UK. He was widely known for not listening to his business colleagues and in my own experience did not listen to customers either

Who says Clarke didn’t listen?

Well, firstly, followers of this blog, know that I do and have frequently said it on many a blog post, including the very first one and Facebook status over the last couple of years. I have described how, many times he has ignored the comments of customers, ignored the complaints, ignored ideas to improve customer service and ignored opportunities to do something different and not just cut prices. Stick “Tesco complaint” into Google and up come the contact pages and my blog! I think that’s quite funny. But on a more serious note, what that and my statistics on which pages get the most views and comments (and their content) on Tesco posts show, is that people really want to complain about Tesco, are interested in other complaints about Tesco and want to know what else to do when they can’t get redress from all the contacts.

But hey, I’m just a customer, what do I know?

What did I say?

I won’t bore those of you who have read all, or at least some of my Tesco posts by going on one of my rants but in short I have always maintained:

  1. he ignored emails from customers (and by this I mean he didn’t even pass down to his executive team and many people have said this) Justin King of Sainsbury’s didn’t
  2. he didn’t go to the shop floor and talk to staff and find out what was going on, or ask for their ideas (after all they are customers too) Justin King of Sainsbury’s did…
  3. he didn’t look at or respond to my posts on here, Justin King did….
  4. he didn’t thank customers for bringing complaints to his attention, or apologise for  or learn from, complaints sent by customers,  Justin King did..
  5. that Clarke should have been sacked..

Justin King left Sainsbury’s this month having turned the place around, maybe he was getting out when he knew things were going to change who knows? But what we do know is that Justin King took up the post when the place was in trouble, Phillip Clarke didn’t. Although it was about to hit trouble of course and King’s replacement may be in the same kind of sinking ship as Clarke was. The new Tesco chappie has the opportunity to do what King did.

But hey, I’m just a customer, what do I know?

What did others say about Clarke leaving Tesco?

A few things:

  • One former Tesco director said Clarke, 54, “confused activity with progress,” took a series of “short term knee jerk decisions” and had failed to listen to colleagues. “Phil has never listened, Phil is a teller,” he said (Reuters)
  • Analysts said that Lewis’ “…experience with branding could help a company that was no longer associated by many Britons with either low prices or quality.”
  • ” … as shareholders and business analysts bemoan the falls in revenues, profits and market share. But he said: ‘I don’t listen to what others have to say about us’” said Clarke, quoted just 9 days ago…

But hey, I’m just a customer, what do I know?

New chappie at Tesco

photo of Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis, currently the head of Unilever’s personal care division. Lewis will be the first chief executive of Tesco who has not come from within the company. As someone who worked in local authority for many years and saw people being promoted from within to jobs way beyond their capability and by the same token seen many a useless highly paid consultant come in when the authority could have given someone extra duties and back filled the post, I personally think that’s probably a very good move.

But hey, I’m just a customer, what do I know?

According to this article in the Guardian today, Nick Bubb a veteran retail analyst said “Dave Lewis knows nothing about retailing, but maybe that doesn’t matter, because as a leading supplier he certainly knows how to win price wars and perhaps that is the big issue now facing Tesco in the UK.” Sir Richard Broadbent, chairman of Tesco, says Lewis knows the supermarket chain well”. “He knows the brand. He knows consumers. He is the right person to bring that perspective.” Ah now there’s the thing. He “knows consumers”. Does he? Does he listen to them and deliver what they want or is he going to tell everyone what consumers want? Clarke believed he knew consumers and what they wanted but he didn’t listen to any of them.

But hey I’m just a customer, what do I know?

See The Complaining Cow’s history with Tesco for lots of posts about challenging Tesco, meeting and interviewing the CEO and THAT court case!