There are 31 sales practices that the unfair trading regulations have banned. We list those relevant to the sale of motor finance below:
- Claiming to be a signatory to a code of conduct when the trader is not.
- Displaying a trust mark, quality mark or equivalent without having obtained the necessary authorisation.
- Wrongly claiming that a trader (including its commercial practices) or a product has been approved, endorsed or authorised by a public or private body or making such a claim without complying with the terms of the approval, endorsement or authorisation.
- Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer, supply or procure those products or equivalent products at that price and for a reasonable period.
- Making an invitation to purchase products at a specified price and then:
- refusing to show the advertised item to consumers
- refusing to take orders for it or deliver it within reasonable time, or
- demonstrating a defective sample of it, with the intention of promoting a different product (bait and switch)
- Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time, or that it will only be available on particular terms for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate decision and deprive consumers of sufficient opportunity or time to make an informed choice.
Stating or otherwise creating the impression that a product can legally be sold when it cannot.
Presenting rights given to consumers in law as a distinctive feature of the trader’s offer.Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial).
Making a materially inaccurate claim concerning the nature and extent of the risk to the personal security of the consumer or his family if the consumer does not purchase the product.
Promoting a product similar to a product made by a particular manufacturer in such a manner as deliberately to mislead the consumer into believing that the product is made by that same manufacturer when it is not.
Claiming that the trader is about to cease trading or move premises when he is not.
- Passing on materially inaccurate information on market conditions or on the possibility of finding the product with the intention of inducing the consumer to acquire the product at conditions less favourable than normal market conditions.
- Claiming in a commercial practice to offer a competition or prize promotion without awarding the prizes described or a reasonable equivalent.
- Describing a product as ‘gratis’, ‘free’, ‘without charge’ or similar if the consumer has to pay anything other than the unavoidable cost of responding to the commercial practice and collecting or paying for delivery of the item.
- Falsely claiming or creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely representing oneself as a consumer.
- Creating the impression that the consumer cannot leave the premises until a contract is formed.
- Conducting personal visits to the consumer’s home ignoring the consumer’s request to leave or not to return except in circumstances and to the extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation.
Making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation.Requiring a consumer who wishes to claim on an insurance policy to produce documents which could not reasonably be considered relevant as to whether the claim was valid, or failing systematically to respond to pertinent correspondence, in order to dissuade a consumer from exercising his contractual rights.
Demanding immediate or deferred payment for or the return or safekeeping of products supplied by the trader, but not solicited by the consumer, except where the product is a substitute supplied in accordance with regulation 19(7) of the consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (inertia selling).
Explicitly informing a consumer that if he does not buy the product or service, the trader’s job or livelihood will be in jeopardy.
Creating the false impression that the consumer has already won, will win, or will on doing a particular act win, a prize or other equivalent benefit, when in fact either:
there is no prize or other equivalent benefit, or
taking any action in relation to claiming the prize or other equivalent benefit is subject to the consumer paying money or incurring a cost.
The full 31 Banned Practices can be found here.