CMA toughened

Action to halt online rip-offs and fake reviews

Kwasi Kwarteng

Kwasi Kwarteng: public needs confidence

Measures to shield the public from rip-off subscription services and fake reviews have been unveiled by the UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

The Westminster Government will change the law so prepayment schemes like Christmas savings clubs must safeguard customers’ money, protecting consumers’ cash as they save for the holidays.

The change will prevent a repeat of the Farepak scandal, where tens of thousands of people, many on low incomes, lost their Christmas savings when the company went bust.

For the used car and home improvement sectors, where consumers often make large, important one-off purchases, the Government will make it mandatory for businesses to take part in arbitration or mediation where disputes arise over a transaction.

This means both sides won’t get dragged through the courts and levels the playing field for decent businesses who are doing the right thing.

The Government is also clamping down on subscription traps by requiring businesses to make it clear exactly what consumers are signing up for and letting them cancel easily, to ensure people can spend their hard-earned cash with confidence.

The consumer catfish behind bogus online ratings will also be targeted by rules that make it automatically illegal to pay someone to write, or host, a fake review. 

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