Consumer contracts

Consumer contracts additional charges

Guide

Consumer contract rules are designed to protect consumers from paying for additional charges when buying goods or services.

No additional charges as default option

Your business might offer additional items linked to a main contract, such as:

  • insurance with a contract for a holiday
  • gift-wrapping when buying goods as a present

You should always ask consumers for their consent to such additional charges.  You must not present these charges as the default option. For example, online consumers should not have to untick a box to remove an additional option which requires further payment.

Consumers do not have to pay for additional payments which they have not actively consented to. Consumers have the right to request a refund for any payments in this situation.

Telephone helpline charges

If you have a telephone helpline for consumers to contact you about a contract that they have entered into with you, you can't charge more than a basic call rate for this service.

This means you can only charge normal geographic or mobile call rates. If a consumer is charged more than the basic rate, they are entitled to claim any overcharge back from you.

You should check carefully with your telephone provider whether your phone line costs consumers more than basic rates.