play_circle_filled In progress

Equalities and Rights Equalities and Rights

Strengthen the hand of online consumers

Last updated: 12:14pm 13 September 2019

We will strengthen the hand of online consumers.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.59

Our verdict

With increasing levels of internet use in the UK, there is also a recognition of the need to ensure sufficient laws are in place to protect online consumers. This is a broad aim, and there is no clear way of measuring whether the “hand of online consumers” has been strengthened. So we’re going to seek help from consumer rights experts.

One interpretation is that this promise could be at least partially delivered by two specific policies related to online retail – firstly to “end the abusive use of subscription services”, and secondly to “make terms and conditions clearer” (see “Related policies” below).

Both these policies are ‘in progress’, thanks to a green paper on Modernising Consumer Markets, and changes in online gambling terms and conditions following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.

For this policy to be ‘done’ we need to be able to show that the impact of these and any other government initiatives has been to “strengthen the hand of online consumers”. We’ll be seeking advice from independent organisations who will have better insight as to how that might be measured. For now, given that work is going on to support this policy, we’re marking it ‘in progress’. Follow this policy to keep up with developments.

Get the background

Related policies

There's always room for debate

We’re serious about providing clear, up-to-date, non-partisan information. We focus on being consistent and fair in how we reach our verdicts, and always explain our reasoning. But there is always room for debate. So if you see it differently, we’d love you to tell us why. Or even better, submit an edit.