Consumer protection regulations explained

Are you aware of what contractors working for homeowners need to know about consumer protection regulations?

Consumers have a package of tough rights regarding pre-contractual information requirements, cancellation of contracts and the payment of additional charges.

The Consumer Rights Directive, which was implemented in the UK via legislation known as The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations, came into force several years ago. It’s aim was to clarify information rights and cancellation rights, and to prohibit some hidden cost practices when consumers buy certain goods and services.

These regulations apply to all consumer contracts made on-premises (through retail stores), made at a distance (including online sales) and off-premises (e.g. in-home sales), unless the customer has chosen to sign away their rights at the start.

All firms, big and small, must ensure they are compliant and failure to do so may result in prosecution or a fine and depending on the type of breach, the contract with the homeowner may also be invalid.

The regulations put responsibilities on traders in relation to just about everything in the business that relates to their working relationship with domestic customers, so it is vital that all Plumbing and heating firms are aware of these laws and their potential impact on work.

At APHC we’ve developed a small works order form designed to help protect plumbing and heating contracting companies from the problem of disagreement over small works carried out.

This template and all of the information you need on your APHC membership benefits can be accessed via the members only area of the website.

If you’re not already a member of APHC, get in touch with the membership sales team on 0121 711 5030 for more information.