TIM DREW: It’s well worth reading the Act

TIME spent ascertaining your legal rights is never wasted, and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 are definitely worth reading.

They impose a general duty on traders not to act unfairly towards their customers and to act fairly and honestly.

Under these regulations, businesses can be held liable for misleading actions (such as telling lies or behaving underhandedly) or misleading omissions, such as concealing information material to your making an informed decision, or providing it either too late or in such a manner as to make it unclear, unintelligible or ambiguous.

In total, 31 specific practices are listed which are banned, including aggressive doorstep trading, pressure selling, and persistent cold calling. Falsely stating that a product will only be available for a very limited time, in order to elicit an immediate response and deprive the consumer of sufficient opportunity to make an informed choice, is also banned.

The Regulations are quoted on a sticker produced by the Trading Standards Institute with this message: “We do not deal with uninvited traders. PLEASE LEAVE AND DO NOT RETURN. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.”

Don’t forget to complete and submit the survey on isolation and loneliness sent last month to NHW Co-ordinators by the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network – the deadline is 5pm on Friday, August 30. It can be found on www.surveymonkey.com/s/neighbourliness and you don’t have to be a member of Neighbourhood Watch to contribute.

A Neighbourhood Panel Meeting for Central Ward will take place on Wednesday, August 28, at Steyne Gardens between 6.30pm to 7.30pm and, the next day, two surgeries will take place in Broadwater Ward (PCSO Nicola Burstow and Steve Martin of Worthing Homes will be available for a chat between 6pm to 7pm on a walk covering Angola Road, Sackville Road, Warner Road and King Edward Avenue) and Tarring with PCSO Ben Cruise at West Worthing Baptist Church between 11am and noon.