Customer protection

Customer rights: key terms, laws and organisations

Guide

Get familiar with common terms, laws and organisations relating to customer rights:

  • Competition and Markets Authority - a government agency that protects consumer interests, while ensuring that businesses are fair and competitive.
  • Consumer Credit Act - contains provisions that can make credit providers jointly liable for any problems that arise with a purchase.
  • Consumer - someone who is buying your goods and services but is not doing so for business purposes.
  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations - protects consumers from unfair treatment by traders and places a general requirement on traders to act fairly and honestly. The regulations repealed most of the provisions of the Trade Descriptions Act.
  • Customer - someone who is buying your goods and services. A customer may be a consumer or someone acting on behalf of a business.
  • Financial Conduct Authority - a government agency that protects consumer interests while promoting healthy competition between financial services firms.
  • Reasonable - not defined in law but generally taken to mean in comparison with another supplier as the Supply of Goods and Services Act (see below).
  • The Consumer Rights Act - requires goods to be as described, fit for their purpose and of satisfactory quality. If they are not, the customer can reject them.
  • Trading Standards Service - operates at local government level and enforces the law and regulations concerning goods available in that region.
  • Unfair Commercial Practices Directive - transposed into UK law by the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which protects consumers from unfair treatment by traders.