Rip-off Britain target of new rights
NEW consumer rights measures are being introduced to stop customers being ripped off by hidden charges.
The UK government plans to ensure all costs and contract details are clearly set out to give customers all the information they need before spending their money.
Under the new measures, customer service helplines will not be able to charge premium call rates.
Consumers will also have to “opt in” to agree to make additional payments on top of the price of the product itself, meaning that companies will not be allowed to use pre-ticked boxes on booking forms.
Fees charged for using a particular method of payment are also set to be cut, signalling an end to surcharges for using a credit card.
The measures are part of a European Union consumers rights directive. A consultation on how to implement the directive is being launched tomorrow.
Consumer Affairs Minister Norman Lamb said: “This is an area where Europe can make a big impact on our day-to-day lives.
“Many people will have been ripped off at some point by hidden online charges while booking a holiday, premium rate helplines when returning a purchase or disproportionate and often unexpected charges for paying with credit or debit cards.
“The Consumer Rights Directive will put an end to certain bad business practices and help consumers make well-informed decisions when buying products or services.
“It will also boost business confidence, setting out clearer rules and responsibilities and cutting red tape by reducing compliance costs.”
The proposals also cover the information to be given to consumers before they buy products on the internet, and their cancellation rights after purchase.
There will also be clarification on deadlines for deliveries of products and who is responsible if there is a problem.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west