consumer protection

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The protection, especially by legal means, of consumers. It is the policy of current UK legislation to protect consumers against unfair contract terms. In particular they are protected by the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the Sale of Goods Act 1979 against terms that attempt to restrict the seller's implied undertakings that he or she has a right to sell the goods, that the goods conform with either description or sample (see trade description), and that they are of merchantable quality and fit for their particular purpose. Consumers are further protected in these respects by the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999. There is also provision for the banning of unfair consumer trade practices in the Fair Trading Act 1973, which established the Office of Fair Trading. Consumers (including individual businesspeople) are protected when obtaining credit by the Consumer Credit Acts 1974 and 2006 (see also consumer-credit register). There is provision for the imposition of standards relating to the safety of goods under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which makes the producer of a product liable for any damage it causes (see products liability), and the General Product Safety Regulations 1994. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008) and Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations (2008) restrict unfair, aggressive, and misleading marketing practices (including viral marketing.)

Subjects: Law — Business and Management.

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