Improving Terms and Conditions

Closed 25 Apr 2016

Opened 1 Mar 2016


Terms and Conditions and Consumer Protection Fining Powers - Call for Evidence

In fair, competitive markets, consumers should be able to take informed choices without being misled and firms should not have incentives to breach the law. Following the publication of "A better deal: boosting competition to bring down bills for families and firms" on 30 November 2015 this Call For Evidence is considering 2 issues:

  1. How to make Terms and Conditions easier for people to understand and engage with.
  2. How to further incentivise business compliance with consumer protection rules.

Terms and conditions apply in nearly all transactions but  these are not always in writing. Where written terms and conditions exist, they should serve the purpose of giving customers relevant information on the product or service they are purchasing, in such a way as to allow the customer to identify differences between products. Information provided should not be misleading or unfair, and should give consumers the security they need that their rights will be protected if something goes wrong.

The government is also consulting on the introduction of civil fining powers for breaches of consumer protection laws.

The Call for Evidence will close on 25 April 2016.

Why your views matter

 This call for evidence is seeking ways to:

  • improve the market through making it easier for consumers to engage with terms and conditions and understand how these may affect their choices
  • increase the incentives for business to comply with consumer protection rules by providing for the option of fines where there are breaches of the law.

The views of business consumers and regulatory bodies are particularly welcome on these matters.


  • SMEs (small and medium businesses)
  • Large businesses (over 250 staff)
  • Multinational businesses
  • Business journalists
  • Trade bodies
  • Legal representative
  • Medium business (50 to 250 staff)
  • Micro business (up to 9 staff)
  • Small business (10 to 49 staff)
  • Consumer organisations
  • Consumer law specialists
  • Consumers
  • Trade union or staff association
  • Learned Societies
  • University associations
  • Consumers
  • Charities
  • Local government
  • Charity or social enterprise
  • Central government
  • Individual
  • Regulator


  • Economic growth
  • Starting a business
  • Consumer rights
  • Innovation
  • Regulation and red tape
  • Business investment
  • Evaluation