The British Office of Fair Trading presented a market study into consumer contracts and issued a warning to businesses that consumer contracts must be clear and have no unwelcome surprises buried in the small print.
The research showed that five people had experienced a problem with such contracts in the last year. The study examined when, how and why contracts cause difficulties for people and identified the practices and contract terms which have the potential to cause people the greatest harm and which could breach consumer protection laws.
Currently 70 per cent of the OFT’s consumer enforcement cases relate to contract terms and conditions. Heather Clayton, Senior Director of the OFT’s Consumer Group said: “Consumers should be free to focus on the main elements of the deal, confident that there will be no unwelcome surprises in the small print.”