Terms and Conditions-Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013

On Friday 13 June the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 came into force.

The Regulations regulate most contracts made between a “trader” and a “consumer”.  They will therefore apply to a wide range of contracts made between businesses  and their customers (as consumers) but whether they apply or not will depend upon the nature of the customer and the circumstances in which the contract is made.

The Regulations have increased the time a consumer has to cancel their contract with you and there are serious consequences of not complying with the new Regulations. For example it is a criminal offence to fail to inform consumers of the right to cancel, punishable by a fine. Also, if you did not give the customer the time limit and procedures for cancelling, the cancellation period is extended and you will not be able to enforce the contract until you either give the consumer the relevant information or a considerable period has elapsed. This would mean for example that, you would not be able to issue Court proceedings under the contract for payment until the cancellation period has elapsed but the contract will not be void so your customer will still be able to enforce it against you.

We  would therefore advise that businesses  instruct the firm to update their paperwork including their terms of Business to ensure that they fully comply.