Friday, 25 February 2011

OFT publishes research on consumer contracts and small print

Yesterday the Office of Fair Trading (UK) published a report on how consumer deal with contracts and in particular with small print. The main aim of the investigation was to develop a systematic approach for determining the effects of consumer contracts, in order to be able to better identify the priorities for enforcement.

As could be expected, one of the findings was that consumers rarely read small print in contracts. The reasons consumers give is that they do not expect the terms to be negotiable, that they rely on the reputation of the company they are dealing with, or that they simply do not have enough time. But the report also goes into questions regarding e.g. the understanding of contract terms by consumers and to what extent consumers learn from bad experiences in the past.

For more background information and the report, click here.

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