Consumer Rights Act 2015 - information about traders and services to be binding

The Act introduces specific provisions concerning information provided to consumers by or on behalf of traders supplying services.   In respect of contracts entered on or after 1 October, anything said or written to a consumer by or on behalf of a trader about the trader or service will be treated as a term of the contract if:

  • It is taken into account by the consumer when deciding to enter the contract; or
  • It is taken into account by the consumer when making any decision about the service after entering into the contract.

Anything of that nature taken into account by the consumer is however subject to:

  • Anything that qualified it and was said or written to the consumer by the trader on the same occasion; and
  • Any change to it that has been expressly agreed between the consumer and the trader (whether before entering the contract or later).

Alongside the new provisions above, there is a related provision of the Act which applies to specified categories of “pre-contract information”.  The requirement to provide consumers with certain pre-contact information arises pursuant to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.  The precise requirements vary depending on whether the contract is a “distance contract” an “off-premises contract” or an “on-premises contract”.  The Act specifies that any such pre-contract information provided by the trader is to be treated as included as a term of the contract.  Any change to this pre-contract information is not effective unless expressly agreed between the consumer and trader.  This is a restatement of provisions previously contained in the Regulations themselves.

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