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Old June 9th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #1
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New Consumer Rights

I'm getting pretty frustrated and how often the law is changing and costing business people extra money in order to comply.

There are new rules coming in to force in June 2014 that change the consumer protection within the UK and I just got a quote for updating T&C to comply along with all the other crap that's going to be required, like providing model cancellation forms etc. That will be 800 + VAT please.

One of the more simple changes.... consumers will now have a 14 day cooling off period form the time of booking (up from 7 days) during which time you have to turn away other bookings for that date (because they already booked you) but they can then cancel for any reason (they don't even have to tell you why) up to 14 days later and you lose out both ways (lost booking and lost inquiries). Oh and your non refundable retainer would also need to be refunded.

It's just getting harder and harder to earn an honest living!

[Edit:]
And be aware of this new remedies section too... http://discuss.bis.gov.uk/consumerri...ng-services/#5

So in future, if they don't get everything they thought they should be getting the new law entitles them to a reduction in price. Better get those contracts tightened up guys...

Feel free to read the new bill : http://www.publications.parliament.u...0180/14180.pdf
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Old June 9th, 2014, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: New Consumer Rights

I've only had to refund one couple whose circumstances changed shortly after booking. The law didn't require I cancel the contract, but I did anyway, because it had only been about 20 days, and we still had 6 months before their wedding.

If you're really worried, you could do what I often do during that limbo after I've sent a contract, but they haven't signed it yet: talk to the new potential client a little, but explain that you are waiting to find out if you really are available or not. Usually I won't keep people waiting more than 2 or 3 days.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: New Consumer Rights

There was a discussion about this on BBC Radio 4 Moneybox which may be available on iplayer.

The cancellation period has changed from 7 working days to 14 total days so it is not quite as drastic as that.

Customers cannot cancel an order for which bespoke manufacturing is required. The example given was double glazing.

Customers cannot cancel a digital download as there is no way to reverse the delivery.

For returnable products the onus is on the customer to return it before you are obliged to action a refund. You can make a deduction for damage etc though its hard to see how this might apply to social video work.

The rest I didn't catch as my satnav was shouting at me :- )

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Old June 10th, 2014, 01:02 AM   #4
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Re: New Consumer Rights

Dave I understand your concern, we have very strict consumer favored laws in my day job's industry here in Wisconsin. These came in a long time ago and I remember the discussion back then about how horrendous the business environment was going to get. Now that we are a few decades down that road, it's apparent most claims customers make under those laws typically are justified. Those I know in the industry that have the most problem with them, or have had with them, you could always see the signs of a heavy handed salesman, or salesman of questionable character involved somewhere in the picture. We also found that if that was not the case, one of those "horror story" customers we read about here, was the buyer in the transaction. Lastly, a very tiny minority were what appeared to be good deals with nice people, well represented with best intentions, that just plain goes bad no matter what you try to do. Everyone gets one of that last variety every now and again, with laws or without.

What we did which kept us out of many of the legal troubles I saw others have was to go high on presentation and very soft on closing the sale. We priced fairly and competitively eliminating a cheaper price as a reason to take a deal elsewhere. Lastly, we watched out for "horror story" customers and when we got the feeling a customer could turn into one, we backed away from the sale.

The most important thing we learned from these was to make sure the way we did business didn't create headaches for ourselves because of the laws now on the books.

Regardless of the laws, what is not going to change is that bride who loves your work, can afford your fee and definitely wants you to shoot her wedding. When she signs on the line and cuts that deposit check, the furthest thing from her mind is "how can I get out of this deal". As long as you treat her like you have treated every bride like her before, the law really becomes a non issue.

When one blows up in your face, and one will, all you can do it get through as best you can, as honorably as you can and move on to more productive work.

Sorry about the higher premiums.

Good luck !!!
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Old June 10th, 2014, 05:51 AM   #5
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Re: New Consumer Rights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
The cancellation period has changed from 7 working days to 14 total days so it is not quite as drastic as that.
You're right - not 7 days but 7 working days in to 14. Thanks for the correction. Even so, it's still a big lump to have to pay out in legal fees every time this stuff changes! I'm not one for winging it and hoping I never need the contract. Tariq has enough scare stories that should make us all sit up and take notice!
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