The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a consultation reviewing the way consumers are treated in modern markets, making proposals as to how regulators should ensure that consumers are not being unfairly penalised by suppliers holding information about their behaviour.
Proposals include making consumers’ own data more accessible to them, taking stronger action against scams, and making it easier for people to switch to better value services.
The following two areas will be of interest to members:
1. Terms and Conditions – The Government is considering whether terms and conditions in some sectors should be required to reach a specified level of consumer understanding.
They will be publishing a good practice guide for business advising how to present terms and conditions as well as privacy notices online.
The BVRLA has previously focussed on this area for its rental members through the inspection programme and complaints reviews. When a complaint is received where the rental agreement is unclear, or it is not compliant with our Code of Conduct, it is highlighted to our compliance team who contact the member to help clarify the agreement.
The BVRLA can also provide standard terms and conditions for rental agreements which has been reviewed by the Competition and Markets Authority. The association will soon be publishing best practice guidance on the display of terms and conditions.
2. Alternative Dispute Resolution Providers – The Government is concerned consumers are not utilising alternative dispute resolution providers and is examining how it can improve awareness of such services.
The BVRLA Conciliation Service is an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service, handling around 1700 unresolved complaints cases a year on behalf of members and their customers.
The association will be responding to the consultation, which closes on Wednesday 4th July 2018.