Crab Insight – March 2022

Red Tape Busters Volume 9, Issue 06, `Building trust with your customers’


Welcome to the March edition of Crab Insight

As successful business people know, building a brand is more than logos and straplines. It’s about a company’s ethos and values; backing up customer commitments; and going the extra mile.

Fitting strongly into what makes a brand work is using straight-forward language in all your documentation. Your clients need to know that their contract with you is fair and honest; how to exercise their rights; and how to go about putting things right if they go wrong.


Claudia Crab’s March Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“Customers need to know what it is they’re buying and the terms on which it’s being sold.”

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like, and trust.” – Bob Burg, author, Endless Referrals. 

Using Plain English – in things like terms and conditions, warranties, privacy notices, or how to complain – isn’t just a nice to have, it makes great business sense too.

A brilliant starting point for checking how straight-forward it is to do business with your company is to get a member of your family or a friend to read the documentation that you give to customers. If the people who already know and like what you do can’t understand what’s there, the chances are that your clients won’t either.



Top tip: Providing your clients with all the right information, in an easily digestible form, will make it more straightforward for them to do business with you.


Reputation Advocates

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


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: | W:

Copyright (c) 2022 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

What happens when someone changes their mind about something they’ve brought?

Changed your mind about something you’ve bought? It’s not as simple as getting your money back, regardless of how expensive an item may be.

Offering a refund on something you’ve purchased from a company is the choice of the seller; it’s up to them whether they offer you anything.

If there’s nothing wrong with what you have bought, it doesn’t need to be refunded.

However, if you think there’s a problem with your purchase, there are steps you can follow to get a refund, but this depends on where you bought the item.

Buying online?

Anything purchased online will automatically come with a 14-day cooling-off period.

Ultimately, this is when you buy something you haven’t seen in person, the cooling-off period allows you to get a refund on the item if it’s not for you. That includes purchases which may have nothing wrong with them too!

The period starts from the day you receive the item, but does exclude bespoke and made-to-measure items.

The cooling-off period doesn’t apply to items that:

  • Can deteriorate quickly, such as flowers or food
  • Is personalised or custom-made, such as printed material
  • Is from a private individual rather than a business
  • A CD, DVD, or software whereby the seal is broken

The above also includes over-the-phone and mail order purchases.

How to use your cooling-off period:

The following steps will help you with how to use your cooling-off period.

Step 1: Tell the seller you don’t want the item within the first 14 days of selling it. Citizens Advice has a templated letter to help you with informing the seller of your decision here.

You may also inform the seller of your decision via phone, but always make a note of the person you speak to with a reference number to the call.

Step 2: Once you’ve informed the seller of your decision to cancel, you then have 14 days to return the item. If you don’t return it within the 14-day period, you may lose your right to return.

Step 3: Keep a document of any correspondence between you and the company until a full return has been made.

What about postage and packaging?

Most items bought online come with standard delivery – it all depends on what memberships you may have and what delivery options you choose.

So, if you request a refund and need to return the item, the seller has to refund the money spent on postage and packaging but only at the standard price.

If you’ve selected express delivery, which is more than standard delivery, you’ll need to pay the difference.

Buying an item from a shop?

We’d recommend you check the shop’s policy on returns before purchasing the item.

Most shops say you can return an item within 14, 30, and occasionally more days for as long as they haven’t been used. It’s not a legal requirement, but it’s always good to check.

Even if you couldn’t check or try an item before purchasing, your rights remain the same on returns.

Always get a receipt for any items you buy within a shop too. There is a higher likelihood you’ll get a refund on items with the original receipt. You may find the return’s policy for the company is written in the receipt too.

Bought something from a business based outside of the UK?

If you’ve bought something from abroad, your rights may be different. Always check the terms and conditions of the seller before purchasing anything from them.

It’s worthwhile exploring whether you’ll receive a refund on the delivery cost, too, as the rules around this may be different to Great Britain.

For more information about where you and your clients stand when it comes to returning something, they’ve bought, get in touch with us today.

How do I know if my company’s website is legally compliant? 

Websites are the online shop window for your business so, whether you sell goods and services directly via the internet or not, first impressions matter most. 

The method to showcase companies like yours on the internet may come in all different forms.

From a contemporary style website to something more traditional-looking, or maybe a platform that is incredibly visual or which perhaps hasn’t any imagery at all, websites need to work for you and – most importantly – your audience. 

Your business website plays an imperative part in building rapport within the minds of prospective clients. 

It also allows people to understand more about who you are, what you do, and how you can help the people engaging with the content which is published. 

But while your website may be aesthetically pleasing and functional for users, it may not actually be legally compliant. 

So, how do you know if your company’s website is legally compliant? We can help with that. 

For your website to be legally compliant you might need: 

  • Data Protection Information

This should be visible to every user on your website. On your forms, for example, you should have a statement that indicates what someone’s data will be used for. People inputting personal data onto your company’s website must know exactly how their data will be processed. 

  • Cookies Policy

Cookies are small blocks of data created by a server on a website while browsing from one site to the next. They play a part in tracking a browsers engagement so that an experience of browsing the web can become more personalised. The policy about the use of Cookies on your website should detail cookies that are being used and their purpose too. They’re usually displayed as pop-ups or other means to obtain consent. 

  • To ensure that people with a disability can use your website

People who access your goods, facilities, or services are protected from discrimination on the basis of disability, says the Equalities Act. 

The law requires that websites are accessible to disabled people, including those who are blind. 

Your business has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to your website to help disabled individuals access their goods, facilities, and services. 

Website owners can comply with the WCAG 2.0 standard. This is the UK Government recommended best practice for website accessibility. 

  • To make sure that you are not breaching Copyright Law

You must be aware of the copyright of any images or words you use on your website. Get permission, on every occasion, and always credit where credit is due.

Furthermore, it’s imperative to have a Copyright notice on your website – to make it easier to stop others from using your content without permission.

  • To disclose the important information about your business

All the important bits of information about your business, such as the legal entity (the entity that pays tax) using a business name, or with registered companies and partnerships (Ltd, LLP, PLC), the registered office, place of registration and registration number must be disclosed somewhere on your website. 

Many businesses tend to display this information within the footer or the contact section of their website. 

  • How you talk about the service you provide

If your business is providing services you have to disclose certain specified information. Your website is an ideal place to publish these details. Remember to review them periodically to ensure they remain relevant. 

If you are a business that sells goods, services or digital online, otherwise known as retail sales or sales to end-users, you must consider the following points to ensure your website is legally compliant: 

  • Do you comply with general trading law? For example, do you make sure that you don’t engage in unfair commercial practices? If you sell age-sensitive products – such as alcohol, knives, solvents, videos and games do you comply with the rules about who you sell them to? Do you sell products to which safety legislation applies? What about the rules around food businesses and more?
  • Do you know the requirements of the Consumer Contracts Regulations? These rules specify the way that cooling-off periods work during online sales. They also have detailed requirements for the provision of information to the buyer.
  • Do you place additional charges on payments made by card? Well, if you do, you shouldn’t because it’s prohibited.

For further information about how to ensure your company’s website is compliant, get in touch with our expert team today. 

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

It’s fair to say that most consumers would be wrong to claim that they always read the Terms and Conditions before agreeing to use a product or service.

Millions of people across the UK are guilty of failing to read the Terms and Conditions, otherwise known as the boring bits or the small print, and that’s a pretty big deal. But why?

Terms and Conditions act as a legally binding contract between a company and its clients.

The agreement doesn’t only set out the rules and guidelines that must be followed, but it clearly sets out expectations from all sides of the party too.

There can be serious ramifications for companies who trade without Terms and Conditions. This can lead to unwelcomed headaches for customers too.

Within this blog, our spotlight is on some of the top issues Crimson Crab have encountered as a result of companies not having clear Terms and Conditions.


  1. Lack of ability to limit liability. As a business, if you don’t bother having Terms and Conditions, there are all sorts of liability that you may have to accept when you don’t need to.


  1. Difficulties if your client fails to make payment. Without Terms and Conditions, you may find yourself in a costly situation if court action needs to be made due to a client failing to make a payment on the work you have completed. By ensuring they agree to your payment terms within your Terms and Conditions, you’re protecting yourself from unwanted surprises and difficulties in Court.


  1. Unrealistic expectations. Without Terms and Conditions, clients may claim the work you are doing isn’t sufficient and fails to meet their expectations. By drawing up clear and easy-to-understand Terms and Conditions, you’re making it clear what work you will complete for the price agreed.


  1. Misunderstanding about compliance with legislation. Many businesses struggle to understand that Terms and Conditions play an important role in ensuring you are complying with the law including for example Trading Standards legislation. Having a set of Terms and Conditions allows companies to publish essential details, such as its name and address or consumer cancellation rights as required.


  1. Limited ability to protect intellectual property. This is all about protecting the creations of the mind, like inventions, literacy, and artistic work. Without highlighting in your Terms and Conditions the use to which your client may put your intellectual property, people may steal your ideas which could have otherwise been making you money. Setting out your stance on Intellectual Property will reduce the likelihood of this happening and will make it easier to deal with if it does.


There is so much to think about when you are trying to manage your own business, so it’s easy to prioritise another matter over Terms and Conditions.

But by having these you will establish an essential legal binding contract, on your terms as long as they are fair, which can protect you and your clients for years to come.

It’s good practice to regularly review your Terms and Conditions as circumstances can change as can the law, but also how your business operates may change over time.

Whether you are a start-up or an established business, Terms and Conditions are crucially important today more than ever.

At Crimson Crab, we can help with anything related to the Terms and Conditions belonging to your business. From reviewing to drafting your Terms and Conditions, a great starting point is our Business MOT get in touch to take it today.

Secure your cash flow: Disclose your legal trading entity

Your clients have the legal right to understand exactly who they are dealing with. If they don’t, you could find yourself with agreements being void and not getting paid for the work you do…

Imagine it – business is booming and you have just had one of the strongest quarters to date.

Then suddenly, your customers stop paying and you have no legal way to get your money as a result of not abiding by trading laws and disclosing your legal trading entity.

But what is the legal trading entity?

In a nutshell, it’s the name of the business used for tax purposes. It’s the ‘legal’ name of the person or entity that owns it.

If you’re a sole trader, a plasterer for example, then the legal trading entity of your business is your name with or without your initials or forenames.

So, if your name is Richard James Smith, the legal name for your business could be Richard James Smith, Richard J Smith, Richard Smith R. J. Smith, R Smith or simply Smith.

If you trade under a name which does not include your surname, for example, Phoenix Plastering Services you would have to give your surname to every current or potential client.

For example Smiths Phoenix Plastering Services or Richard Smith trading as Phoenix Plastering Services together with an address at which you can be contacted. In legal parlance an address at which you will accept the service of documents.

For unincorporated partnership in gets a little more complicated as the legal trading name is the last names (with or without initials or forenames) of all of the partners.

For limited liability companies, partnerships and corporations, the business’ legal name is the one that was registered with Companies House including Ltd, LLP, PLC etc. In addition, there are specific disclosure requirements for these types of business including full corporate name, registered office address, registered number and place of registration.

The trade or business name is the name a company uses for advertising and sales purposes. It’s imperative you understand that this is different from the legal trading names previously described.

It’s a legal requirement that your legal trading entity is included on all business documents and their electronic equivalents which include invoices, letters, emails and websites.

If you’re a business that may trade under a different name to your legal trading entity and may be unsure of the rules, get in touch with the Crimson Crab team today.

Know your customers cancellation rights – they’re a pretty big deal!

Failure to inform your retail customers of their rights to cancel the use of your product or service may have serious ramifications to your business.

Without clarity on cancellation rights, it can become more of a challenge to resolve any disputes which may arise, so it’s important for any business owner (and their team) to clearly set out their company’s approach to cancellations.

In this month’s blog, our focus is on two core areas regarding cancellation rights for consumers. Selling without face to face contact and selling away from your usual trade premises.

If you don’t understand what the law means to your business it may well jeopardise your reputation.

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

Its name is quite a mouthful but it’s important for any business that deals with consumers to understand how the rules on cancellations work.

A consumer is someone who is buying something for their own use which, means that they are not buying it for their business, or profession.

The law states if a consumer goes to a shop to purchase goods or services, they have no right to cancel a purchase UNLESS they are given rights to do so by the sales contract or any agreement in place. This is often referred to as a Returns Policy. This does not apply where goods are faulty or misdescribed or a service is not provided to a reasonably competent standard.

Cancellation rights apply when a consumer buys something online or through a catalogue or away from the trader’s usual premises, so for example in their home or at a craft fair.

Whether you’re a tradesman providing a service, or an independent business selling telecoms contracts, it’s essential you inform your customers of their rights to cancel when they have one.

By doing this you are making it clear that they can cancel – within the set down 14-day time period – and move on to elsewhere, hassle-free.

It’s worth noting when someone buys something online (the purchaser) they get 14 days to cancel as long as you tell them about their cancellation rights.

If you as the trader fail to tell them and explain how they can be exercised, the purchaser has up to one year to cancel and you have to refund the purchase price, cost of delivery and pay for the return costs in full.

Cancellation must be distinguished from Termination of a contract. This has a very specific legal meaning.

Termination is where someone has breached the conditions of the agreed contract. It’s a get-out clause for either party who have failed to adhere to what was agreed.

It is a criminal offence not to tell a consumer they have cancellation rights if they are completing agreements off-trade premises.

Be sure to tell your clients about their cancellation rights – even more, so where failing to inform them could cost your company money!

To summarise, every business must understand the rights their customers have to cancel and should always clearly share these before any transaction takes place.

For further information about cancellation rights please get in touch.  

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

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

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

Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

New Reputation Advocates

Enrichment Coaching Logo

Clarity and courage coaching for confidence


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: | W:

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.

How to protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing

There are many benefits to outsourcing work, from increased efficiency to cost advantages, it seems a no-brainer to take advantage of another’s skillset when the time is right for your business.

But, if you fail to do the due diligence when outsourcing and something goes wrong, it may cripple your business.

As a responsible businessperson, if you fail to conduct the reasonable steps to avoid a tort or offence within your company and they do arise, you’re at fault.

That’s why we’ve listed some considerations to support you with ensuring you carry out the due diligence and protect the reputation of your business when outsourcing.

  1. Do both sides of the agreement hold the same expectations?

Mismatched expectations can create countless obstacles in business. One way to avoid this from happening is to ensure everything is written down on paper, then agreed and understood by everyone involved with the outsourced work.

  1. Have a contract agreed.

Similar to the expectations have a contract which states what work will be carried out, completed by when and by who, as well as a clear price too. A contract has the power to be a simple reference for a solution to any conflict.

  1. What’s the reputation of the business you are outsourcing work to?

Seems obvious, right? But companies do fail to do their research regarding the reputation of someone who is completing work for them.

If the service someone provides isn’t recommended, why would you use them to support your company? You wouldn’t.

  1. Do they know their health and safety?

If an outsourced service poses a health and safety risk to your workforce and you don’t mitigate it, then if an accident takes place the responsibility falls on your shoulders.

  1. Is the company you’re outsourcing to savvy with data protection?

GDPR – you’ve heard it before and will continue to hear all about it into the future. Why? Because peoples’ personal data matters.

If you’re outsourcing work to someone required to deal with data within your business (making them the processor), for example, the personal details of your clients, then you as the controller are responsible for how the outsourced work is handled. You also need a written contract covering data processing.

  1. Are those claiming to be an expert actually an expert?

If you’re looking to outsource an element of your business, such as HR, then is the person claiming to have the ability to complete the work actually competent in it?

For further details on how to avoid having a negative impact on your business for when you outsource work, get in touch with Crimson Crab.

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.


Crab Insight August 2020

Red Tape Busters Volume 7, Issue 11, Protect

Welcome to the August edition of Crab Insight

The positive relationships any business has with its clients will help it thrive and survive – but there are things you must do to protect the bond between you and your customers… That’s why PROTECT is our word of the month! Don’t forget Crimson Crab is always on your side, ready to help you rise to the challenge. Stay safe.

Claudia Crab’s August Focus

Claudia the Crimson Crab icon

“If you deal with consumers respect their rights and comply with the standards of trading.”

If you deal with retail sales and have consumers as your customer there are a plethora of rules and regulations that apply, including:

  • The Consumer Rights Act 2015
  • The Consumer Protection from Unfair Commercial Practices Regulations 2008 – control unfair practices and create criminal offences for traders that breach the regulations.
  • The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013
  • The Provision of Services Regulations 2009

The law covers:

What you sell:

  • Goods
  • Digital content
  • Services

Where you sell it:

  • On-premises sales
  • Off-premises sales
  • Sales made at a distance

How you sell it:

  • Consumer contracts
  • Good practice
  • Pricing and payment

Other key areas to consider:

  • Underage sales
  • Food & Drink
  • Product Safety
  • Animals & Agricultural Products
  • Weights & Measures

Whatever you do you need to respect consumers rights and comply with certain minimum standards of trading.

To fail to do this can lead to serious consequences including being prosecuted by a regulator such as Trading Standards or Environmental Health.

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 14 August 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

Reputation Advocates

When you need a reliable and dependable expert click on the crab

Accredited Crimson Crab Reputation Advocate Logo

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: | W:

Copyright (c) 2020 Crimson Crab Ltd, all rights reserved.