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  • Writer's pictureThe Legal Digest

Reforms to Consumer Law

Updated: Nov 12, 2021

Future changes to consumer law are heading this way with hefty fines for businesses that fail to comply.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

The government consultation proposes changes to consumer law including giving the Competition and Markets Authority ("CMA") powers to enforce consumer law directly through the courts with the ability to impose fines of up to 10 per cent of worldwide turnover for companies that are found to have breached consumer law.

Subscriptions and reviews

There is a growing concern that consumers are being inadvertently tied in to subscriptions which automatically renew. Companies may be expected to introduce products that do not auto renew and re-design their websites to prevent subscriptions from auto-renewing.

The prevalence of consumers reviewing products online is currently unpoliced and as a result reviews can be fake or misleading having potentially damaging consequences for business.

Enforcement of consumer law

Consumer law is arguably strong in the UK but the enforcement of it is largely unrecorded and usually down to Trading Standards to make decisions on consumer outcomes.

The proposed level of fines has attracted debate and is unwelcome by businesses particularly as they do not take account of the issues faced by smaller businesses with lower budgets and has the potential to wipe them out.

Further details will emerge as we enter an era of digitalisation on a large scale and see the regulatory landscape continue to change.

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