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Don’t be unfair!

The Competition and Markets Authority (The CMA) has published a series of new short form “at a glance” guides to help businesses understand what terms are likely to be considered “fair” and “unfair” when used in a consumer contract.

These guides add to the various items of guidance that the CMA published in October 2015 when the main provisions of the Consumer Rights Act 2015 came into force. The guides, which are aimed at small businesses, provide an overview of some of the main mistakes for a business to avoid when writing its terms. Titles in the series include, “Common myths about contract terms” and “Top tips when writing your contract terms”.

The series also includes brief guides on some terms that are commonly used by businesses but which are particularly likely to be unfair: for example, deposits and advance payments, cancellation charges, rights to change the terms of a contract, and automatic rollover of subscriptions.

These guides cannot be relied on in substitution for the legislation but provide an introduction to the CMA’s views on the Act. If you need any help in this area please contact Christopher Evans, Toby Stroh or Caroline Cropley.

Source: CMA: Fair terms for your customers: an introduction for businesses; CMA: Unfair terms explained for businesses: individual guides; CMA: Unfair terms explained for businesses: full guide – Detailed guidance