Crab Insight August 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 11, `Customer Relationships’

 

Welcome to the August edition of Crab Insight

Well, the summer holidays are upon us, but sadly the weather can’t seem to make up its mind to be kind. Due to the holiday season, we won’t be holding an Online F2 Business Huddle in August, but we’ll be back in September. 
 
Crimson Crab celebrates ten years in business this month, being incorporated on 15 August 2011.  Over the last ten years, we’ve helped loads of businesses with their compliance conundrums and data protection difficulties. We certainly look forward to helping more in the future.
 
So we very much hope to see you at the September Online F2 Business Huddle – in the meantime have a lovely summer.

 

Claudia Crab’s August Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Customer Relationships”

“For some, shopping is an art; for others, it’s a sport. It can be a vice and it can be a cause. Some love it. Some hate it. Rarely is someone indifferent.” Pamela Klaffke, newspaper and magazine journalist, novelist and photographer.

 

We all know the maxim ‘Caveat Emptor’ which is a Latin phrase that can be roughly translated into English as “let the buyer beware.” While the phrase is sometimes used as a proverb in English, it is also sometimes used in legal contracts as a type of disclaimer.

However, where the buyer is a consumer there are many legal constraints to applying this literally and more often than not, ‘Caveat Venditor’ (let the seller beware) is more accurate. 

This cautions that the seller is responsible for any problem that the buyer might encounter with a service or product. In the case of business to consumer sales, this is pretty much the case anyway and any business implementing this will naturally provide a better level of customer service.

Our focus in August is to champion great customer relationships and reduce sales risks. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

The big question this month is:

How does your business respond to challenges with its customers? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we help you explore this in more detail.
 
Top tip – To understand your compliance obligations and responsibilities when dealing with customers or clients you need to know what you need to comply with our Business MOT can help with this

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 10 September 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo


Feedback

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

 

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

 

Copyright (c) 2021 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

Crab Insight June 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 09, `Data Protection’

 

Welcome to the June edition of Crab Insight

“That’s life (that’s life), that’s what all the people say. You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May. But I know I’m gonna change that tune. When I’m back on top, back on top in June.” Frank Sinatra

If as a business owner you need assistance getting back on top this month especially with Covid Secure Workplaces please take a look at:

Grounded Safety

Our focus in June falls on Data Protection. If you need practical help please do take a look at our solutions:

 

For fuss-free HR Management you can’t go wrong with:

 

 

 

Claudia Crab’s June Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Data Protection”

“We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.” Alan Turing OBE FRS computer scientist.

“There’s plenty there that needs to be done. Lets get on with doing it.” Elizabeth Denham, CBE UK Information Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)

Data protection law, at first sight, is complex and ambiguous full of unfamiliar terms and legal phrases. The ICO do their best to try to demystify this but like all regulators, they have to cover themselves when interpreting complex areas of law. They do not have the resources to give detailed bespoke guidance to all UK businesses.

If you process personal data, our top tip is that you will most likely have to pay the data protection fee, there are exemptions to this but they do not relieve you of complying with the law.

Essentially the law gives a number of data protection principles that must be followed:

  • You must identify valid grounds (known as a ‘lawful basis’) for collecting and using personal data.
  • You mustn’t do anything with personal data in breach of any other laws.
  • You must use personal data in a way that is fair. This means you must not process it in a way that is unduly detrimental, unexpected, or misleading to the individuals concerned.
  • You must be clear, open, and honest with people from the start about how you will use their personal data.
  • You must limit the purposes for which you collect data and not use it for unspecified purposes.
  • The personal data must be accurate, adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary.
  • It shouldn’t be kept longer than is necessary (retention periods should be determined based on reasonableness/law).
  • It should be protected by appropriate security measures to keep it secure and confidential
  • You should take responsibility for what you do with personal data and for compliance with the principles

The big question this month is:

Why should my business be transparent in handling personal data? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we endeavour to answer this.

 

Top tip – To understand your compliance obligations and responsibilities you need to know what you need to comply with our Business MOT can help with this

 


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 11 June 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo


Renewing Reputation Advocates

 
 
JMB VA Logo

 

Your personal assistant … Virtually

 

 


Xebra Accounting Logo

 

Putting you in control of your finances

 

 

 


 
Feedback

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

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2021 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

Crab Insight May 2021

Red Tape Busters Volume 8, Issue 08, `Terms of Business’

 

Welcome to the May edition of Crab Insight

May is the bridge between Spring and Summer, a month of transition.  May 2021 will certainly be no exception.

As lockdown eases further step three of the lockdown roadmap in England will take place.  As long as it is safe, all of the most high-risk sectors will be allowed to reopen, with Covid-secure guidance in place. Outdoor gatherings for no more than 30 people and indoors for six people or no more than two households will be okay.

If you need assistance with Covid Secure Workplaces please take a look at:

Grounded Safety

As the economy opens up more, invariably our thoughts will turn to our customer relationships, maybe re-establishing them or with new ways of doing business such as e-commerce. Whatever the circumstances the interaction or business relationship between you and your customer for the supply of goods or services is subject to legal control.

Hence this month we are focusing on the way to regulate this transaction via Terms and Conditions (T&C’s).

If you need practical help with HR Management or Data Protection please do take a look at:

 
 

Claudia Crab’s May Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Terms and Conditions”

A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.” ― Samuel Goldwyn, Hollywood film producer

Contracts are formed every day in business and they represent the legal basis on which you are willing to do business with your customers. Despite what Samuel Goldwyn said they are legally binding on both parties, whether in writing or not, the difficulty with a verbal agreement is that it is difficult to prove what was agreed too the satisfaction of a Judge.

When dealing with consumers (i.e. someone not acting for their business, trade, or profession) legislation gives statutory rights to the customer, obligations to the seller and controls the content. Certain consumer contracts can be canceled and having terms that try to take away a consumer’s statutory rights are illegal, for example, “no refunds”.

If it is written down the document could be known by many other names, from simply “business terms”, to “terms of sale” or “Terms and Conditions” or “T&C’s”. Whatever you call them in general terms, the meaning in any of these names is that you are offering your goods or services for sale with certain conditions in place. 

To many people “terms and conditions” represent incomprehensible legal jargon in an enormous document with small print or a small pop-up box where you have to scroll frantically to read more than a few words at a time. The problem is that these types of documents may be invalid in English Courts and can result in an investigation by Trading Standards.

When using terms and conditions always follow the Crimson Crabs strapline:

Ethical  |  legal  |  Responsible

The big question this month is:

Why should I bother with Terms and Conditions for my business? 

Look out for our social media posts and our blog later in the month as we will hopefully be able to flesh out your thinking.
 

Top tip – To create a great set of terms and conditions you need to understand some of the potential issues that your business faces when doing business with your clients or customers and our Business MOT can help with this


F2 Business Huddle Online

Friday 14 May 2021

12 noon to 2 pm

Get your ticket on Eventbrite


Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crabAccredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo


Renewing Reputation Advocates

 

Bascule logo

Building bridges between people, policy and inclusive practice

 


 
Feedback

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

Until next month look after your reputation!!

Ethical, legal, responsible trading wave
T:023 9263 7190 | E: enquiries@crimsoncrab.net | W: www.crimsoncrab.co.uk

Copyright (c) 2021 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

Does your business strategy take account of business risks?

Having a clear and realistic long-term plan in any situation is important if you desire to achieve positive results.

Whether your strategy is focused on your business as a whole, or perhaps key elements of your company such as its sales, marketing, or staffing, strategies can pose risks to your business as they are encouraging change and should be thought about and reviewed regularly.

Failing to take account of business risks within your business strategy can have consequences for your business and those with an interest in its affairs.

That’s why we’ve compiled three answers to the potential response you may have to the title of this post, does your business strategy take account of business risks?

  • Absolutely! Yes, my business does take account of business risks.

It’s good practice to consider the risks associated with an action which you may label as essential to get you to where you wish for your organisation to be. Good job for thinking about business risks!

But remember to assess any risks associated with any strategy for your business on a regular basis – we’d recommend quarterly or annually – as risks do evolve.

  • I’m not too sure whether my business strategy takes account of business risks…

Ultimately, if you have a one-year, three-year, five-year, or maybe an even longer plan for your business without assessing the risks associated with it, you’re leaving yourself susceptible to obstacles.

But don’t worry because, you’ll be pleased to know, you can swiftly identify risks associated with a specific business objective by conducting a simple SWOT Analysis.

By identifying an objective that will help you towards achieving your long-term strategy, and listing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats concerning this, you’re already compiling a list of the risks which may arise too.

This approach may help you with being proactive at mitigating risks from happening as you’ve identified the potential issues already.

We believe weaknesses and threats uncovered as a result of your SWOT Analysis can be turned into positive opportunities for your business. Speak to us if we can help you with this!

  • My business strategy doesn’t take account of business risks.

A strategy is typically split into several objectives, also known by many as key results.

All of the key results aligned with the strategy must be completed in able to achieve what you set out to gain.

Although every objective/key result does come with its risks. You should take account of business risks belonging to these various objectives to prevent any unwanted headaches down the line.

Speak to Crimson Crab for further information about how to take account of business risks with your strategy today.

Online endorsements

As business owners we know that a positive online endorsement can help sell our products and services.

Checking out blogs, vlogs and other online endorsements is an increasingly common way for people to decide what particular product or service to buy.

It is not illegal for businesses to pay people or publications to promote their products in online articles.

BUT the people that publish such content, both the businesses that want to get their products endorsed and any media agencies that place endorsements all need to make sure that the consumer knows that the endorsement has been paid for.

Misleading consumers may breach consumer protection law. Also the UK Advertising Codes, published by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), contain rules to ensure marketing communications are easily identifiable.

Are my terms and conditions suitable?

There are two main issues here:

  1. using terms and conditions that are not bespoke to your business; and
  2. using terms and conditions that are out of date.

Your business’ terms and conditions should:

  • underpin the provision of good, consistent customer service;
  • give clarity of expectations & payment terms;
  • provide protection for all the parties involved;
  • ensure you meet all the legal requirements for your particular business; and
  • minimise legal disputes

If the worst comes to the worst and you end up in dispute with a client or customer, if they are in writing, they provide great evidence of what was agreed in the first place.

How can Crimson Crab help?

We can provide a free no obligation quote for a bespoke set of terms and conditions. Request a quote.

For a small fee we can review your current terms and conditions and give you a no obligation quote if they need amending. Order a review.

If you operate a consultancy we can supply a standard form agreement suitable for your business read more…

 

 

As a retailer do I have to charge the price advertised on goods?

This is an interesting question which the group I was in debated at the F2 Business Huddle on Friday 10th February 2017.

Funnily enough on 13th February the BBC reported that customers of a large retail brand are being overcharged by out of date offers read more…

Without going into too much detail of contract law, the price marked on goods is called an invitation to treat. The customer offers an amount of money which may be accepted by the retailer (or it may not). Of course, if the customer’s offer is the same as the amount marked on the goods the retailer is more likely to accept it, but the important point is that they don’t have to.

That is why a retailer is perfectly correct to refuse to sell a 50″ Flat Screen TV which has been mis-priced at £49.99 when it should be £349.99. What they should do is withdraw it from sale rather than just charging the higher price. Because if the retailer charges more than the price marked on the goods then they may breach The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. This is also the case when the till is programmed with a higher price to that marked on the goods.

Do remember that, although not often used in retail shops in the UK, haggling is perfectly feasible.

What are the potential consequences of unlicensed credit trading?

Carrying out unauthorised credit business is an offence punishable by up to two years imprisonment or a fine or both. It can also mean that any agreements made are unenforceable and can be taken into consideration if an application for authorisation is made.

An individual carrying out a consumer credit business, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on 17th January 2017 charged with offences under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The case was sent to Southwark Crown Court for trial, and a Plea and Trial Preparation Hearing is provisionally listed to be heard on 14 February 2017.

It was alleged that the individual operated as an unlicensed consumer credit lender and conducted regulated activity without authorisation by entering into and administering regulated credit agreements as a lender. This type of financial service was licensed by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) until 1 April 2014, when it became regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This is the first time that the FCA has taken criminal action in a case related to its consumer credit powers.