Crab Insight November 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 02, COMFORT

Welcome to the November edition of Crab Insight

We are well into the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness so beloved of John Keats. In business, we are contemplating the coming winter but we would like you to invite you to have comfort in the knowledge of what your customer’s cancellation rights are when buying a product or service – that’s our focus for the month along with returns and complaints!

Claudia Crab’s November Focus

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Cancellations, returns and complaints.

Don’t get caught out. Put in place clear policies and procedures so you are not sidetracked or have to firefight things on the back foot.Robert Briggs – Compliance Director Crimson Crab


It is important to differentiate between cancelling a contract and terminating a contract. Cancellation refers to ending a contract in circumstances set out in the contract or implied into the contract by legislation.

You need to know when a purchaser has cancellation rights and provide the necessary information and the correct documentation at the right time, particularly when the purchaser is a consumer as they have clear rights and there are legal sanctions if you get it wrong.

There are three sets of circumstances where the parties to a contract have cancellation rights.

  • Contractual cancellation rights i.e. those given in the wording of the contract (terms and conditions or agreement) itself.
  • Those given by the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 when making sales to a consumer (an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession) away from trade premises (e.g. in the consumers home or at a trade fair) or remotely (e.g. online)
  • Where credit is being provided and the customer is an individual consumer, a sole trader or a partnership of three or fewer people.


If you are selling on line to consumers then you need to think about returns.

Your guarantee or returns policy should meet legal requirements and not be open to abuse.

Under the Consumer Rights Act, consumers can return items which are faulty (and in certain other circumstances).

If the return is for this reason then you will have to reimburse the shipping costs (in and out) as well as the purchase price.

On the other hand, if the consumer is exercising their right to cancel the contract if you haven’t told them that they need to pay return postage it will be down to you.


Your policy, procedures and processes for dealing with complaints should support your long-term business goals and provide for continuous business improvement.

Again you need to think about compliance with any rules specific to your industry or more widely.

Finally you need to consider alternative dispute resolution or ADR and how that will impact your complaints process.

Top tip – A great starting point to find out where you are, is our Business MOT


F2 Business Huddle Online

The next FREE

F2 Business Huddle online

is on

Friday 13 November 2020

12 noon to 2 pm

It’s going to be the biggest ever

F2 Business Huddle

so far

All the favourite features that you have come to know and love at the F2 Business Huddle – online

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We love to receive feedback and it really helps us to improve our services for everyone.

Until next month look after your reputation!!

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Three don’ts to protect your customer relationships

The relationships any organisation has with its customers is important if it is to succeed. Also, the retention of clients is a pretty big deal.  

But, at times, we understand our working lives can be testing and offering excellent customer service may be a challenge.

However, within any context, business owners and their teams must strive to deliver a strong service to its clients if it wishes to achieve a positive reputation… while protecting it too!

That’s why our top three don’ts are to support you with protecting the relationships you have with your customers.

  1. When things go wrong, don’t ignore them!

Most businesses treat their consumers well. How do we know this? Because, if they didn’t, there would be no business.

But what happens when things do go wrong? Firstly, it’s important you don’t bury your head in the sand if something, such as a complaint, takes place. Be prepared for any negative response from your clients; have a clear complaints process and be genuinely ready to help people when they’re not happy.

  1. Breathe! Don’t respond on the hoof…

Your focus must always be on protecting the relationships you have with your customers.

To have someone walk away after using your service or product with a negative opinion can be detrimental to how other people perceive your offering.

We’re only human, so it’s understandable if you’re upset as a result of some negative feedback.

Nonetheless, take a moment to consider how you are going to approach your response, as well as how what you say will have the ability to preserve an existing relationship.

  1. Understand the law behind consumer complaints, and don’t neglect it!

There is law around dispute resolution, complaints and mediation, so it’s important you understand what is appropriate/what isn’t if you’re to address the negative experience of a consumer correctly.

Let’s use a complaint from a customer as an example. Businesses have to comply with rules and regulations when dealing with an issue.

These rules don’t necessarily change from one industry to the next, but some sectors do offer an alternative dispute resolution.

Fancy some bedtime reading? The Consumer Rights Act 2015 is a good place to start.

The Act consolidates consumer protection law and legislation while also providing consumers with their rights and remedies, so it’s an essential read for any business that deals with consumers.

For further details on how to protect your consumer relationships, and the best tips on what to do if something does go wrong, get in touch with Crimson Crab today.