New regulations extend protection for consumers

PUBLISHED: 16:23 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:44 10 June 2010

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2 - Consumers get added protection from traders that visit their homes and places of work, in new legislation that comes into force today.

Consumers get added protection from traders that visit their homes and places of work, in new legislation that comes into force today.

The Cancellation of Contracts Made in a Consumer's Home or Place or Work Regulations 2008 replaces previous law to say that regardless of whether a trader is invited or uninvited to a person's house, the consumer has a seven day cooling-off period within which time they can cancel the contract.

The regulations affect traders such as double glazing salesmen, builders soliciting to build extensions, replace driveways or patios - anyone who visits a person's home to sell them a product or service.

It includes traders commissioned to make repairs to the consumer's house.

The protection is given only where the purchase of the product or service exceeds £35, and there are some contracts exempt of the regulations including the sale of immovable property, foodstuffs, and insurance.

Previously regulations have only protected consumers from contracts made with traders who arrive uninvited to their home.

The new regulations extend protection further to include contracts made with traders away from the consumer's home, including their workplaces and even if the consumer is at another person's home, or on an excursion away from their home, even if the visit is at the request of the consumer.

Peter Greene, Devon County Council's Fair Trading Manager for Devon Trading Standards, said: "The new law extends an important protection for consumers when making agreements at home, for example, in relation to agreeing to building work or double glazing or purchasing more expensive goods when a trader visits you at your home. "

"It also helps us to target the cowboys and rogue traders, because in our experience, they rarely inform consumers of their cancellation rights.

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