Module 4 on Unfair Commercial Practices and Unfair Contract Terms

Consumer Law Ready is a specialist training programme for SMEs, helping them understand and comply with the latest European and national consumer laws. The 4th module will introduce you to situations of unfairness.

What can I expect to learn from this training module?

Rules of fairness guarantee proper business conduct. The EU has adopted two very important pieces of legislation that address situation of unfairness: Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices, and Directive 93/13/EEC on unfair contract terms. Among other things, you will learn:

What (unfair) commercial practices refer to;

How to check whether a commercial practice is unfair;

Different forms of unfair commercial practices ;

About the concepts of the “average” and “vulnerable” consumer;

About the characteristics of unfair contract terms ;

Indicative examples of unfair contract terms.

This sounds like quite a bit of work, but don’t get stressed - we will provide practical examples to make your life easier.

Some finger-food information before you are getting started

What is an unfair commercial practice?

It is about actions or omissions that unduly affect the consumer’s economic decision to buy or not to buy a product or to use or not to use a service. For example, a misleading statement about the price or the product’s characteristics.

What is an unfair contract term?

If you conclude a contract with a consumer, you cannot use template clauses that would cause a significant imbalance between your rights and obligations under the contract and those of the consumer. Such terms are considered unfair and therefore are invalid.

What are the consequences if I use unfair terms or if my business conduct is considered unfair?

First and foremost, you may face unhappy consumers. You may also face dissuasive fines by authorities or court actions by consumer organisations. There are other legal consequences, which will be explained in this chapter.

Don’t wait any longer and have a look at the module to improve your customer service and increase consumer trust in your business! For more material or to register for a training course in your country, visit the website