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Big steps to overcome the small print

Plain English Campaign are applauding the consumer contracts team at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the regulatory body for traders throughout the UK. The OFT's year-long study of unclear terms and conditions in consumer contracts covered a range of customer complaints about things such as contracts for gym membership and the small print involved in buying football clubs’ season tickets.

The findings from this year-long study revealed some new information, such as consumers being put off by the length of long-winded contracts. However, it confirmed our well-known fears about the unfairness of small print.

Small print costs consumers up to £6.6 billion a year because of unclear terms and information. Many consumers feel that small print is there to protect the providers rather than the customers. The OFT are using the survey findings to make sure that traders get their small print worded in way that is clear and understandable and contains no unexpected risks for the consumer.

Marie Clair, spokesperson for Plain English Campaign, says, "Our fight against small print is a continuing battle that we can't afford to give up, but this is a big step towards having plain English consumer contracts which make the responsibilities of all those involved crystal clear."

Office of Fair Trading press release

Press Association article

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