A Guide to The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (updated Consumer Rights Directive) implemented the European Union-wide Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair commercial practices in the internal market. The Regulations replace much consumer protection legislation, including Part III of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (which dealt with misleading prices), the majority of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (which it mainly repeals), and the Control of Misleading Advertising Regulations 1988. The Misrepresentation Act 1967 covers similar issues too.

Unfair!

Unfair! 

For a practice to be unfair under these rules, they must harm, or be likely to harm, the economic interests of the average consumer. For example, when a shopper makes a purchasing decision he or she would not have made had he or she been given accurate information or not put under unfair pressure to do so.

The regulations prohibit trading practices that are unfair to consumers. There are four different types of practices covered:

A general ban – on conduct below a level which may be expected towards consumers (honest market practice/good faith).

Misleading practices a practice misleads through the information it contains, or its deceptive presentation, and causes, or is likely to cause, the average consumer to take a different transactional decision specifically; general misleading information, creating confusion with competitors’ products or failing to honour commitments made in a code of conduct.

Aggressive sales techniques using harassment, coercion or undue influence – significantly impairs, or is likely to significantly impair, the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product through the use of harassment, coercion or undue influence – and  thereby causes him to take a different transactional decision.

31 specific practices (that would be two long boring pages of  post! It is pretty thorough though and all of them are listed in the book).

If you think a financial advert or promotion is misleading, unfair or unclear, you can report it to the Financial Conduct Authority and/or the Advertising Standards Authority.

You are also covered regarding unfair contracts with the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!

 

Did you know about this Act? Were you still using old Acts? Find out more details of this other Acts and how to use them in the GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS! Use the Tips when complaining using these Acts.

 

 

Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it

Terms & Conditions The One Show

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Author: Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

38 thoughts on “A Guide to The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008”

  1. Hi, We bought a house in Mar 16 which had the living room and dining room joined into one. The solicitor asked for the building regulation documentation for knocking down the wall and the answer that came back from the vendors solicitor was that it was not a supporting wall, so building regs were not required.
    Since moving in, I have had it confirmed that it is a supporting wall. The council have also confirmed that they did not inspect the property when the rooms were converted and inspections should have been carried out in stages as supporting metalwork was installed.
    In addition, the vendor provided a HETAS certificate for the log burner. After contacting HETAS they confirmed that there is no registered log burner at the house and that the certificate is fake.

    Do you know if we would be covered by the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 in this case?

    Thanks.

    1. False or misleading descriptions about properties are covered under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (amended in 2014) You should also use your surveyor’s report. You can sue but you are looking at probably suing a solicitor so I would take specialist legal advice on this. It may be that you also need to sue the surveyor which would complicate things.

  2. I recently brought a product online in Spain with a Spanish credit card, The item in question is an xbox. I was online searching for one for myself as the prices have recently gone down and found myself on the cex website I searched for xbox and saw there was an xbox for sale at 48 euros plus shipping, the photo of the product showed an xbox one on controllers or anything at all so I assumed that the cheap price was due to it being literally just the console with nothing else and the description firstly was in Spanish so not my native language and I wouldn´t know what the exact specifications were for an xbox one a ps4 or a spectrum so I basically ordered based on the picture which on their website was and still is an xbox one. several days later I received an original xbox, which was a surprise and maybe I should have known better . I checked their terms and conditions and it says that “images are for illustration only”, which all images are, and that “The actual design of the product may vary slightly with respect to the image” where do I stand on claiming against eu consumer regulations about getting the product that I originally ordered? I want the xbox one that I believed I was buying. any help would be appreciated.

  3. I brought a dress on line from Millibridal for my daughters prom. The dress came but it’s not the colour we order. Their return policy states that they will give a full refund. Niw tge refuse to take the dress back and won’t give me my full refund. I have been trying niw for the beSt part of 2 weeks to get a return label from them. What do I do now and how do I get myobey refunded.

  4. Based on information provided to me by the Holiday Park Manager, I entered into a purchase contract for a lodge. However, it wasn’t until she said something some time later that I realized that what I’d signed was not what had been explained to me by her. The pitch fee prices were higher. As the fees were apportioned, they looked similar to the amounts we talked about, however, upon closer inspection for the following years fees, they had been increased by 500 pounds! If this had been pointed out to me, I would not have wanted to purchase on the site. Is there anything I can do?

  5. Hi a few years ago I started a learn at home course for plumbing but it turns out it was a scam from the off. a sales man brought a brochure with some well know plumbing institution logos on but it turns out most of the institutions don’t recognise the qualification. So I’ve been Mis sold the course. Not only that at the time I was 28k in debt and the sales man fraudently messed with my income and out goings to make it work I felt under pressure in my own home and ended signing into a contract for 42 months with a finance company. Which now through research find out the CEO owns the the training company and the finance department. Which the sales man phoned from my front room. I’m looking for all my monthly payments back as although I’ve struggled to repay the 28k and the training finance I’ve never missed a payment to either sometimes I’ve suffered just not to miss repayments. Can you give any advice where to start proceedings thanks.

  6. Hi,
    I advertised on a recommended builders web-site for someone and diagnose a problem within one of my bedrooms. There were dark patches on the walls and it felt damp.

    Forever homes were invited to diagnose the problem and quote for correcting it. They said it was caused by porous walls letting in cold and damp from the outside over the years, as my house was built in the 1930’s. then they explained what they would do to address it and guarantee it for 25 years. they quoted me a large figure of Approx £4000. I said I would have to think about it before I made a decision. They then proceeded to lower the price, and I did insist that Always think about these things for a while before committing. The gentleman then asked how much would I be willing to pay for the service so he could get a sale there and then. I did feel under pressure as, they mentioned they would be doing it much cheaper than their usual price so they could give their guys regular work as Summer was ending soon. I agreed there and then to a price of £3200.

    Since then the wall has not improved, and a friend noticed that there was an air brick in the room that had been covered over, and that was the case of the problem i.e. it was condensation condensation that could have been cured by installing an air brick or uncovering the existing one in the wall.

    I feel I was duped into paying for something that I did not really need, and it has cost me over 3 Thousand pounds. Of course, I am very upset. I have not contacted the Company yet. The work was completed in September 2017. What should I do next.
    ? Any advice would be helpful.

  7. I bought a Google Pixel 2 (sim free) with Sim Only 12 month contract – with the intention of cancelling the SIMO contract and keeping the device.

    Transcript before purchase:
    Zimkita: Hello Sam, welcome to Carphone Warehouse. Are you looking for a contract or outright payment?
    sam: it’s £459 with a sim only contract with vodaphone is that correct
    Zimkita: Yes that is correct.
    sam: ok so I can cancel the vodaphone contract after – as the original £459 is to cover the cost of the device?
    sam: and the sim only contract is £30 p/m
    sam: same as O2 do with their airtime contracts
    Zimkita: Yes that is correct.

    Now they are refusing to cancel the SIMO contract and I’m stuck with a 12-month D/D to pay. Surely this can’t be right??? I feel duped.

  8. Hi,i bought a 2017 nearly new car on finance last oct 2017.on the day of purchase i asked the dealer why did the previous owner had the car for such short period of time and if it was previously damaged/reapaired he said they just did’didn’t find the car suitable and there was never any previous problems with the car so i went a head and sign the contract.after driving the car for abit over a month i started experiencing some issues so i started to think something wasn’t right and that i was mislead into buying the car.i had informed the dealer of the problems i had encountered and asked again if they were sure there was never any previous faults/damages/repair and they were still adamant that there wasn’t then they took the car in for repairs and said they did a diagnostics test and cannot find any faults with the car but it can often be the case of an intermittent fault.i then decided to contact the previous owner who had told me that she got the car through mobility scheme from a nissan garage and had the car for a period of 6months but was only able to drive it for 10days as the car was so faulty and it had to be off the road for repairs but then she had rejected the car as she had lost confidence in it.i then informed both the dealet and finance company of this and the dealer said he had no knowledge of that and the fianace company had asked me to send a copy of a written statement regarding that information and they would sort it out with the dealer so i did exactly that.after a month of sending the copy of the statement from the previous owner the finance company had rang me and said wether i was mis sold the car or not had nothing to do with them and that’s between me and the dealer and that they only care about how the car is now and the dealer said it is in good working condition and is of satisfactory quality so i was confused because if that’s the case why requested me to send a copy of the statement from the previous owner if it had nothing to do with them.weeks after that i got a nother phone call from the finance company saying they had spoken to the dealer and nissan and was told that only the brake lights was reset on the car and nothing else,i then asked if it took months off the road just to do that and the reply was that’s all it was and i am contantly been told by the finance company that the dealer has no obligation to disclose any previous mechanical repairs done on a second hand car as they might not know of it,this car was just 7months when i got it with a 650 mileage (therefore the dealer didn’t get any paper works showing any work done under the manufacturer warranty and they just bought the car like that) this is what i’m make to believe.if that’s the case which i doubt 100% because how can the dealer know about the previous owner’s reason for having the car for such short time but knows nothing about the car’s previous history when the dealer i got it from is completely different from the one the previous owner got it from.the previous owner got it from derby and i got it from epsom,obviously they don’t want to take liability of any wrong doing and the finance company backs the dealer as i had expected because they both benefit from my lost.i have been asking for the car’s service history for months now and i’m yet to get one from the dealer.what can i do as the dealer and finance company won’t take my rejection of the car ?

  9. My now ex bought an engagement ring from a jewellery shop in Bolton the ring was said to be approximately 2ct and had a inclusion and a chip we split up after she assaulted my 8 year old daughter.i wanted to sell the ring and took it to a jewellers they got it appraised and said the description I got when she bought the ring is different from the report the jeweller gave and it had a crack running through the diamond and wasn’t worth anything as the diamond will eventually split in two .i have asked for a refund they said sold as seen .my ex used my debit card

  10. So happy to have found your website and would be delighted to hear what you think…

    I’ve rented the house in which I live from an estate agent who advertised it as a 6 bedroom house. Not only do I still have their marketing literature stating this, but I also have the deposit certificate which says this.

    It turned out that the loft bedroom and the 2 basement rooms were done without authorisation from Building Control. When the Council found out, they invited him to retrospectively regularise all 3 rooms. But when saw how much work he needed to do for the basement rooms, he told them he would not regularise them because we weren’t using them as living space (which was an outright lie).

    When I confronted the landlord about this a few days ago, he said that the estate agent is to blame for the 6 bedroom advertising as he told them to advertise it as for (another outright lie).

    Building Control have now asked him to remove the radiators from the basement as part of his commitment and we too are being asked to not use these rooms as living space any more. This, of course, is very problematic because (as 2 adults and 5 kids) there are good reasons why we rented a 6 bedroom house.

    Citizens Advice Beaureau told me that I need to go through The Property Ombudsman redress process but I’ve already gone through this for other issues with the estate agent and it was ridiculously slow because the agent did not cooperate.

    What options do I have aside from going through The Property Ombudsman? I already have a legal case against my landlord and would be so happy if I could bundle this with it.

    Thanks for any advice you might have.

  11. Hi
    I bought a fleet car a month ago and on the order form the dealer listed a mileage of 2500. I was quite happy with this and couldn’t wait to get my ‘new’ car.
    The day I picked up the car I was shown how everything works and the dealer was keen to set the current mileage to zero. I didn’t think much of it. A day later I set in my car checking everything and then I noticed that the car had an additional 2000 miles on the clock!!! I contacted the dealership via email complaining that I was mis-sold the car as I know I would have kept looking around for a better deal than I got with them. I spoke to them on the phone and explained everything again, there were a few other issues but minor and the dealer was happy to sort them BUT when it came to the extra mileage he said mistake can happen – REALLY???!!! I suggested that I would return the car and go somewhere else where I would get a better deal and the dealer told me that he wouldn’t be able to give me all my money back if I decide to do so… I think I have been mis-sold the car and I want compensation for the lesser value. What do I do?

  12. Hi, my son who is 19 signed up with a company called new trade careers for a home study course in electrics. For this he signed a contract with the company to complete the course, this was to cost £7,500 and a finance company would pay the course company and he would pay the finance company back £180pm. The cooling off period has passed but we have since discovered the company doesn’t qualify him to the level the course was sold on. And that several people have had issues with the company. Do we have any rights to cancel the contract?

      1. Hi. I’m so happy to have found your site.

        I would appreciate your advice?

        I purchased a sofa in aug 18, I Specifically stayed I wanted feather seats as I was sick of foam. I was shown a selection of sofas and chose one and on the order form it states feather seats, on delivery I was told I’d be receiving encore seats which are basically a piece of foam surrounded by feathers! The seats started within 2 months to sag, so I got intouch but was told they were within tolerance. But again 6 months later they are even worse but now I have found out I have neither feather or encore seats I actually have 100% polyester! I feel completely mislead I’d even go as far to say they have obtained my money by deception? I’d really appreciate your advice. Thank you

        1. If you have on the order form that you paid for feather seats and the evidence is there that they aren’t, this is as not as described so a breach of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Not as described. See this and the tips for complaining. You are past the 6 months so may be a little more tricky but you should try.

          1. I have the order form saying feather seats, they changed it to encore seats on delivery and supplied polyester. Had they assessed the sofa’s in December properly this would have come to light then.

        2. Hi thank you for your reply. I only purchased the sofa 10 months ago. Found out today it’s fully filled with 100% polyester!

  13. Hi there
    I am a single mum and project manager of 20+years. I had no formal qualifications as I had my own business, but have executed hundreds of successful projects with 6 figure values. As my children were young I decided to do an online course to still give me flexibility. I knew that in my industry (marine) there was demand for Prince 2 qualification. I called an online training provider and told them about my background and that I wanted to sign up for the Prince 2 Practitioner given it was relevant to my industry that I had experience in. The call operator told me that this was not the best course for me, but the PMP would be a better choice given its global coverage. I stated that I was not worried about global coverage, as I was a single mum and had not seen PMP on any job listings. He assured me that this was the best course for me, although it was more expensive. Given that he was an expert in the field with regards to training, I took his advice and booked to do the more expensive course. I told a number of colleagues and friends who are also in the industry what course I was doing and they said it was not a course that is well known in the industry and that I would be better with the Prince 2. I called them to switch courses and never heard back from them, despite it being recorded on their system. I then sent emails to which I had no reply, I made repeated phone calls but no return calls, have had the phone put down on me, was told that my case had been progressed but they were not sure what their complaints process was, had to chase again despite this being escalated. In the end I did my Prince 2 with another supplier at an additional cost of £875+vat. The initial course with this provider was in excess of £1000 and have only accessed the course once to see the layout of the training structure.. I attach my last email to the company which I have still not had a response to. They offered me compensation of £109 with this email below, do I have any legal rights as I truly believe I was misled :-

    12 Sept 2019
    Dear Stacey,

    Apologies for not getting back to you sooner – there have been some changes in personnel that have led to a slight back log of work. Can confirm that I am writing from the relevant department and would ask that any further communications are through me on this email address.

    Having looked into this complaint in detail, I understand that the crux of the issue is that you believe that you should not have to pay the remaining payments on the basis that the PMP course is not relevant to a career in the Marine Sciences. After discussing this internally, we have decided not to uphold this complaint on the basis that the skills learned in this course are transferrable to most careers including Earth/ Marine Sciences. Here am I speaking from personal experience of the industry.

    That being said, it is fair to say that this complaint would not have been as fuelled as it would have been if it was dealt with in a timely manner. In light of this, as a one-off, we would be willing to offer a partial refund of 10% of the total course value, so £109.50.

    Please let me know what you think of this settlement offer. Please also kindly note that your loan agreement with Omni Finance entirely separate to your contract with Learning People, which is more focused on the provision of material and training to guide people through qualifications.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,
    Ilyas

    I replied with…

    12.09.19
    Dear Llyas

    Thank you for your email but I do not think that your settlement offer is anywhere near fair. You should also note that my area of expertise is not marine sciences. I am a project manager for yachts and commercial diving practices where the Prince2 qualification is common place.

    My complaint is based on the fact that your practice has been both misleading and acted unfairly. I had originally wanted to do the Prince2 Foundation/Practitioner course which was more appropriate for me and my line of work. The Prince 2 also appeared on job adverts I wanted to apply for and was also aligned to the way I currently worked as a professional, all respectfully conveyed to your sales guy. I had also researched online that the Prince 2 was the better course for me given that I was a structured person and wanted to support my projects with methodologies and processes that made my projects more effective, especially as I already had a good reputation and good knowledge base. However, despite all of this I was talked into paying more money and doing the PMP, I even recall a part of the conversation where your sales guy told me that the PMP was very big in America despite me telling him that I was a single parent and unable to work overseas and that was another reason for the Prince 2 because it was very well known in the UK.

    Booking on the right course for me was very important as I did not have money to throw at something without the assurance it was right for me, right for my career and right for my future and I had executed my due diligence by initiating the process with a quote to do the Prince 2 Foundation and Practitioner which was known in my profession. What is clear right here, is that despite my BEST intentions, I was very much miss informed and poorly advised by your expert to change tact and book on the PMP.

    Had I NOT been talked into something that was both more expensive, not as recognised in my line of work and less appropriate to my requirement in terms of my desire to adopt structured methodologies and processes etc, I would undoubtably be a very happy and contented customer. Instead, I have had to continue to pay for a course that I have accessed once and in addition, had to pay out a further £875+vat on my Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner course to get the qualification I really needed to be assigned to two new projects.

    To add additional fury to my disappointment, I have contacted the customer services team on numerous occasions at one point in the very beginning asking if I could at least change courses so I could get something out of the money I had ploughed into my professional development. I never heard back. This was followed by conversations with your team in my disappointment, again no follow up. Again until today no updates, no acknowledgements etc, it was only by contacting the care team once again this morning that I received a response from you.

    As a consumer, I contacted you in good faith, I demonstrated clear evidence of my experience, the reasoning behind why I wanted the qualification and the type of qualification I wanted given my market research and knowledge of my industry. I feel that I have not only been miss sold the course but I was sold a course that was not fit for my intended purpose. Instead, your sales guy focused on my vulnerability at the time and sold me a course that was not suitable, possibly in a bid for him to reach his monthly target. Despite repeated efforts to raise my issues but with no avail I had no further choice but to spend as noted above £875+vat on the course which I had originally requested and became Prince 2 accredited last year. This was undertaken with Best Practice.

    This whole process has caused a significant financial burden on me not to mention a great deal of stress which is why I believe your offer of £109.50 is nothing more than an insult. I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you, that my most recent call was answered by a foreign national who could not understand me. When I asked him if he spoke English he replied “I barely speak English” this was despite me calling a British number. I then asked if he could put me onto somebody that could, so that I could explain my problem to which he replied in a very condescending manner, “Sure I will find somebody that speaks perfect English” and immediately put the phone down in an aggressive manner.

    I would much prefer not to take legal action under the CPA or Sales of Good Act but at this rate, you have demonstrated nothing more than miss selling me a course and providing a shambled service when I have repeatedly tried to resolve the issue. I therefore ask that you revise your offer which is nothing more than insulting, failing to do so will lead to legal action. In am not looking for you to pay the fees from the course I paid for in addition to your course, but I do believe I deserve a full refund of the course that I was miss sold.

    I wish to resolve this matter which has been hanging over my head like a rather large black cloud for too long! Education should be a wonderful experience, personal development should be a creditable value to ones intention to improve themselves and yet here I am, a single parent that used a trusted service to help advise her the best way forwards and have no return on my investment other than a headache! I myself coached various members of the Royal family during 1995/1996 and therefore understand the true benefits behind good training!

    If you wish to discuss a more suitable offer over the phone please do not hesitate to contact me xxxxx

    Yours sincerely

    Stacey Rivers

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