Tuesday, 6 August 2013

New Protection Against Rogue Traders Welcomed By Cambridge MP

MP Julian Huppert has welcomed new plans introduced by the Liberal Democrats which will give vulnerable and elderly people better protection against rogue traders.

The new proposals, announced today (Tuesday, August 6) by Lib Dem Business Minister, Jo Swinson give consumers new rights to cancel contracts and claim their money back if they were misled or bullied.

“We have all heard stories about elderly and vulnerable people being bullied into buying goods or services they don’t want, and in some cases parting with hundreds of pounds of their life savings,” said Julian.

“These new regulations give them far greater protection against rogue traders who prey on these people and see them as easy targets.”

The proposals help consumers who have been misled or bullied by:

  • giving them 90 days to cancel a contract and receive a full refund After 90 days they can still get a proportion of their money back; 
  • giving them new rights to recover money which was paid out but not owed. Currently, the trader can be prosecuted but the consumer finds it much more difficult to get their money back;  
  • giving them the right to claim compensation for any alarm or distress caused by these practices.  

Rogue traders cost consumers billions of pounds every year and cause alarm and distress. A recent Consumer Focus survey found that more than 60 per cent of the population had been the target of an unfair commercial practice. In seven per cent of cases, the consumer suffered more than £500 worth of loss and in three per cent of cases the loss was more than £1,000.

Julian added: “People should be entitled to have the same rights and protection whether they are buying services online, in a shop or at home; these new regulations will give them those rights.”