MORE THAN half of UK businesses don’t fully understand the terms and conditions they impose on customers.
New research from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that consumers and businesses could run into unnecessary difficulties given 54 per cent of businesses do not have a firm grasp on the law when it comes to terms.
“We know that the majority of businesses want to do the right thing by their customers, but it’s worrying that many businesses are not familiar with the law,” said Paul Latham, director of communications at the CMA
The CMA research also found that some businesses think a signed contract is final, not realising that they can’t enforce a term against a consumer if it’s unfair. Others may copy terms from larger businesses or competitors, assuming incorrectly that these will be automatically fair and legally binding.
In response the CMA has launched a new campaign to inform businesses about fair and unfair conditions – which are defined as those that give businesses an unfair advantage over consumers, often by reducing their rights or ability to complain.
Worryingly, 18 per cent of businesses admitted they had never heard of rules on unfair terms.
The rules on using unfair terms are set down in the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
Mr Latham added: “We know that the majority of businesses want to do the right thing by their customers, but it’s worrying that many businesses are not familiar with the law.”