New guidance: Updated guidance on UK consumer protection law on pricing

Traders will welcome new, user-friendly 26-page guidance on the law relating to pricing and related practices, published by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.

The new Guidance for traders on pricing practices replaces the Pricing Practices Guide 2010', published by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (or Department for Business Innovation and Skills as it was then).

The new version covers a number of additional issues, such as:

  • The level of explanation/detail required when referring to a 'recommended retail price', to demonstrate advertised price savings are genuine
  • Debt and credit card fees which exceed the trader's own costs of processing payments
  • Pre-ticked boxes on websites which result in additional charges or fees for consumers
  • Subscription services which commit consumers to continuing payments
  • Volume offers, such as combination, 'multi-buy' and 'extra for the same price' offers
  • 'Up to [x] per cent off' and 'From £[x] off' offers

The recommendations in the guidance will help traders in the UK - and traders offering their products and services into the UK via foreign-located websites - to comply with UK consumer protection laws on pricing and related matters.

The guidance is not mandatory but courts may refer to it when ruling on whether traders are complying with UK law.

Traders will be given until April 2017 to conform to the new guidance.

Operative date

  • April 2017

Recommendation

  • Download the new guidance from the Business Companion website

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