Consumer Protection Act 2007

Aggressive commercial practices.

53.— (1) A commercial practice is aggressive if by harassment, coercion or undue influence it would be likely to—

(a) cause significant impairment of the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct in relation to the product concerned, and

(b) cause the average consumer to make a transactional decision that the average consumer would not otherwise make.

(2) In determining whether a commercial practice is aggressive under subsection (1), the commercial practice shall be considered in its factual context, taking account of all of its features and the circumstances.

(3) Without limiting subsection (2), in determining whether the commercial practice employs harassment, coercion or undue influence, the following shall be taken into account:

(a) the timing, location, nature or persistence of the commercial practice;

(b) the use of threatening or abusive language or behaviour by the trader;

(c) the exploitation of a consumer’s misfortune or circumstance when the trader is aware that the consumer’s judgment is impaired as a result of the gravity of the misfortune or circumstance, in order to influence the consumer’s transactional decision;

(d) the imposition of onerous or disproportionate non-contractual barriers by the trader when the consumer wishes to terminate the contract, exercise a contractual right or switch to another product or trader;

(e) the use of threats by the trader to—

(i) take action or initiate proceedings against the consumer when the trader has no legal basis for taking such action or initiating such proceedings, or

(ii) do something unlawful.

(4) In this section, “ undue influence ” means exploiting a position of power in relation to a consumer so as to apply pressure (without necessarily using or threatening to use physical force) in a way that significantly limits the consumer’s ability to make an informed choice in relation to the trader’s product.