Measures Proposed to Curb Rip-off Merchants

Consumer Law

New legal remedies to help consumers fight back against scams have been proposed by the Law Commission and Scottish Law Commission.
The report, Consumer Redress for Misleading and Aggressive Practices, recommends a new right of redress against traders that carry out misleading or aggressive practices. Consumers would be entitled to a refund or a discount and damages could be awarded. The new law would cover situations where consumers are harrassed for payment; remedies would include refund or damages for distress.

The commissioners found incidents of salesmen targeting housebound or older people with high-pressure sales tactics and sometimes pretending to be from social services or refusing to leave when asked. They found it was almost impossible for consumers to get their money back as existing laws were “fragmented, complex and unclear”.

Law Commissioner, David Hertzell, said: “We have an ageing population and, without reform, this victimisation of the vulnerable can only get worse.”