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    The above Regulations come into force on 26th May 2008 and are designed to clamp down on unfair sales and marketing practices, but will they affect you?

    The simple answer is ‘yes’, everyone who deals with consumers will be affected. The Regulations are being introduced not only to protect consumers but also to protect honest businesses. A general ban on unfair trading will replace the current complex and detailed rules on trade descriptions and misleading price indications. Broadly, this means that traders will have to act in a manner consistent with the reasonable expectations of the average consumer, enabling such consumers to make free and informed purchasing decisions.

    In addition, the new Regulations will put a stop to aggressive selling techniques and misinforming and misleading people about products or services.

    What benefits are there?

    You will no longer have to face unfair competition from traders who use underhand practices. The changes also simplify consumer protection in the UK making it clear which commercial practices are, and are not, allowed.

    What do I need to do?

    Businesses that deal honestly and fairly with their customers may not need to change the way they work at all but to make sure that you are complying you and your staff should read and understand the Regulations to avoid investigation by Trading Standards.

    What isn’t allowed under the Regulations?

    Unfair practice which harms, or is likely to harm, the economic interests of the average consumer or entices them to make a decision that they would not have made had they received the correct information. This applies in three areas; general conduct, misleading practices and aggressive sales techniques.

    In addition to the above the Regulations ban 31 practices outright. These include: faking credentials, displaying a mark or logo without authorisation (such as the Society logo), bait advertising (using unrealistic specified prices), falsely stating a product is available for a limited time, scare tactics, using marketing material that gives the impression the product has already been purchased, advertising ‘free’ products which are not, forcing a sale, ignoring a consumer’s requests to leave while visiting them at home and pestering the consumer by telephone, fax or e-mail.

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    Matt Walkden Will Writer

    About Matt Walkden

    I am a Professional Will Writer and I offer a small number of other products that complement my Will Writing such as Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s), Fixed Price Estate Administration, often called Probate and some Property Products such as changing a family home from Joint owners to Tenants in Common.

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