Consumer Legislation: Everything you need to know about consumer contracts

Price Marking Order 2004

Price Marking Order 2004 (SI 2004/102)

This Order holds the significant requirement that when any goods are offered for sale in retail, the selling price must be demonstrated to the consumer. This Order applies to suppliers whom sell products (not services) to consumers and includes online retailers. Furthermore, there is the requirement that the selling price, and if necessary, the unit price, must be clearly displayed.

The prices must be in Sterling, however if a trader indicated willingness to accept foreign currency, further specific information must also be provided, regarding the exchange rate. The prices must be inclusive of VAT and any other tax, however the price of delivery or postage may be shown separately.

The Order requires prices to be unambiguous, easily identifiable as well as clearly legible, meaning legible to a consumer with normal sight. This is further explained by the requirement that consumers should not need to seek assistance in finding out the price of the product.

For any further information you may require please, visit the GOV.UK website:

Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002

Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2013)

This Regulation is one which establishes legal rules which require compliance from online retailers, as well as service providers, when dealing with consumers of the countries in the European Union. It applies to any contracts conducted by electronic means, with the consideration of distance, whereby the buyer is a consumer.  The terms and conditions under which the contract was concluded are required to be available to all consumers in a way which can be stored and reproduced.

An obligation which is imposed upon the seller is that they must state the technical steps involved in placing the order in a “clear comprehensible and unambiguous manner”. Furthermore, knowledge which must be provided to the consumer includes information about the seller and how the contract will be made, through electronic means. There is also the requirement of acknowledging the receipt of an order placed electronically, without undue delay. Prior to placing the order, the service recipient must hold appropriate and accessible technical means to be able to identify and correct input errors.

For any further information you may require please visit the GOV.UK website:

Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (PSRs)

Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (SI 2006/2999)

The PSRs is applicable to the majority of private sector businesses within the UK, which provide services to consumers. It holds the requirement that a trader must provide consumers with certain information about the business, as well as deal with customer complaints in a prompt manner.

There should be no discrimination against consumers in the provision of Services regarding place of residence, unless it can be justified objectively.

For any further information you may require, please visit the GOV.UK website:

List of EU Directives


EU Directive Minimum or Maximum Harmonisation

Maximum– national law may not exceed the terms of the legislation

Minimum – threshold which national legislation must meet


Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU).

This Directive sets out rules regarding contracts, between a consumer and a business. It establishes basic consumer rights, across the EU.

Mainly Maximum
Unfair Contract Terms Directive (93/13/EEC)

The purpose of this Directive is to approximate the legislation of Member States regarding unfair terms in contracts, conducted between a seller and consumer

E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC)

This Directive aims to contribute to the proper functioning of the internal market, through ensuring the free movement of information society services between the Member States.

Minimum with regard to the provisions of most relevance to consumer contracts (pre-contract information requirements and online contracting rules).
Sales and Guarantees Directive (1999/44/EC)

This directive seeks to harmonise consumer sales which concern legal and commercial guarantees.

Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (2005/29/EC).

The objective of the Directive was to boost consumer confidence and make it more accessible to businesses to trade across borders.

Maximum (however it permits more restrictive rules for financial services and immovable property).


Price Indications Directive(1998/6/EC)

This Directive aims to ensure that prices remain unambiguous, easily identifiable, as well as legible.

Directive 2013/11/EU on alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumer disputes

This Directive aims to ensure that consumers can voluntarily submit complaints against traders to entities offering fast and fair ADR procedures.




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