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Consumers now have rights to tackle rogue traders directly

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The drive towards increasing consumer protection rights continues as consumers are given greater control to tackle rogue traders directly.As of 1 October 2014, consumers will have wider rights of The drive towards increasing consumer protection rights continues as consumers are given greater control to tackle rogue traders directly.

As of 1 October 2014, consumers will have wider rights of redress against traders adopting misleading, and aggressive commercial practices. The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (the "Amendment Regulations") came into force amending the existing Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 ("CPUT").

CPUT amalgamated a considerable amount of existing consumer legislation and made it a criminal offence to use misleading or aggressive practices. However, under CPUT consumers did not have any direct right of redress against traders and were forced to rely on action taken by the relevant regulatory bodies (trading standards authorities and the predecessors to the Competition and Markets Authority) to enforce their rights.

The Amendment Regulations introduce new private remedies, which consumers will able to use directly against traders, including:

• a right to unwind a contract and get their money back;
• a right to a discount; and
• a right to seek damages for detriment caused.

This follows on from the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, which came into force on 13 June 2014 replacing and amalgamating existing distance selling and doorstep selling regulations as we reported on earlier this year – New Consumer Protection Rights – Are you compliant?

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