Until 2008 there were various pieces of legislation covering areas that could be deemed as regulating “unfair trading.”
These included legislation relating to trade description, advertising and misleading practice. They were consolidated in and replaced by the Unfair Trading Regulations, which protect customers by enabling enforcement action to be taken against bad practices such as aggressive selling, and misleading sales information.
The Regulations are now monitored and enforced by the Competition and Markets Authority, in partnership with local Trading Standards Offices.
The vast majority of UK businesses already trade fairly and should not have had to change their business practices in order to comply with the Regulations, which are focused on tackling a minority of businesses which cause customer detriment through poor practices.
- introduce a general duty not to trade “unfairly” and seek to ensure that traders act honestly and fairly towards their customers at all time;
- apply primarily to the sales and marketing activities of businesses that apply to customers, but certain business-to-business practices are also covered where they affect or are likely to affect customers.