Cracking down on persistent rogue traders is one of the measures announced in government plans announced today.
A white paper called ‘A better deal for consumers – delivering real help now and change for the future’ includes setting out a long term framework to enforce consumer rights and put a stop to rogue traders who con consumers out of money.
The measures include new powers for courts to ban persistent rogue traders from dealing with consumers, and a new national specialist team for internet enforcement to tackle scams which con consumers on the internet.
New money will also be invested in a central ‘fighting fund’ to tackle rogue traders operating on a large scale; and a pilot scheme giving trading standards officers powers to help consumers get money back.
A new ‘Consumer Advocate’ role will additionally be created, and will be responsible for co-ordinating work to educate consumers and to help them get their money back.
The white paper also sets out action to promote responsible borrowing and lending, including a ban on unsolicited credit card cheques and a new consultation looking at reforming credit and store card regulation – find out more about the credit reforms here.
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According to Consumer Minister Kevin Brennan, there will ‘be tougher action against rogue traders and fraudsters who look for ways to fleece consumers out of their hard-earned cash’. He said there would be a new emphasis on consumer rights, led by the Consumer Advocate.
Responding to the white paper, Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith said: ‘Many of the measures outlined in the white paper are overdue but welcome. The important thing is that no time is wasted in turning these proposals into tangible benefits for consumers.
‘The jury is out on the creation of the role of Consumer Advocate, for the devil is in the detail. It will be interesting to see how the role will fit in with the organisations and roles that already exist.’
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