Standard Terms : Fair for Consumers? #2
Following on from our earlier post about an unfair term in Amazon's standard terms of business, we have an update regarding some interesting research on the subject.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now concluded some research into unfair terms in consumer contracts and the results are rather concerning.
The CMA found that:
- Less than 45% of respondents claimed to know the rules on unfair terms well;
- 36% did not have a strong grasp;
- 18% had never heard of them; and
- only 15% said they were familiar with the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which sets out the rules on unfair terms).
Over half of all businesses taking part did not know the unfair contract rules.
The CMA's research also revealed that some businesses believe a signed contract is final. These businesses are unaware that if a term is unfair, it will be unenforceable against a consumer.
It was also very clear from the research that businesses often copy terms from larger businesses or competitiors, assuming incorrectly that they will be fair and legally binding.
Terms that are well written and fair help save time, avoid disputes and enhance your reputation.
They will also protect you if things do go wrong. More than that, the process of putting them together; the thought process and properly setting out what you do, how you do it and what you will do if things don't work out, strengthens your position in the market because spending a bit of time on that process will improve your customer experience.
Give us a ring if you think your contract terms may need reworking - it's not as expensive as you might think for us to help you get it right.