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Laws need to be introduced to prevent retailers from ripping off customers

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have advised the government without emergency laws it will be harder to crack down on unscrupulous businesses cashing in over the virus.

Between 10 March and 19 April, the CMA said they have received almost 21,000 complaint of retailers and businesses ripping shoppers off.

Complaints have also been made by consumers who are struggling to receive refunds processed by travel companies.

Solicitors are concerned as the current laws do not go far enough, and the CMA has advised the government of “emergency time-limited legislation” will help, according to the Financial Times.

Chief executive Andrea Coscelli told the FT, “Consumer and competition law are not really designed for emergencies.

“Part of our role is to use everything we have but if there are gaps, to explain to the Government what those gaps are. Ultimately though it’s for the government and Parliament to decide.”

A CMA spokesman told the PA news agency, “Along with our existing powers, we have also advised the government on options for emergency time-limited legislation that could give a better chance of dealing with this type of problem.”

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) spokesman did not rule out a legislation change.

He told PA news agency, “We are facing a health emergency and nobody should be seeking to exploit that for financial gain.

“The vast majority of businesses are acting responsibly during the national effort to tackle Covid-19 and reports of profiteering to the Competition and Markets Authority have fallen.

“The CMA deals directly with firms to address any complaints and we continue to keep the issue under review.”




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