This page contains general information about the application and enforcement of Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA 2002) and the legislation that it covers. It provides guidance to help businesses comply and information for business and consumers about current and completed consumer enforcement work and the outcome of formal and informal legal action.
Following changes to the consumer protection regime introduced by Government in April 2013, local authority Trading Standards Services have a greater role in the enforcement of consumer protection law at national level. The OFT retains (and from April 2014 the new Competition Markets Authority will inherit) all of its previous consumer enforcement powers but will now tend to use those powers where breaches of consumer protection law point to systemic failures in a market. This means cases will more often be taken against a number of firms in a market, rather than cases against individual firms, unless changing the behaviour of one firm would set a precedent or have other market-wide implications.
The OFT retains its lead role for the enforcement of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 although the Trading Standards Services has equal enforcement powers.
In the first instance consumers are encouraged to contact Citizens Advice regarding any problems they may have in buying goods or services.
The Office of Fair Trading recognises the importance for business, enforcers and consumers to be able to access information about Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (EA 2002) and subsequent enforcement action. Use the links below for further information.
The result of an investigation under consumer legislation may be an undertaking given by the trader, or a court order (or other action) which has been imposed. These reports are freely available to the public from this area of the site, and it is the Office of Fair Trading's intention to publish and make available the outcome of investigations as and when these reports become available.