The abuse of prepayments and deposits continues with many millions of pounds lost every year. The legal protection remains inadequate despite the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
The consumer has little chance of recovering their money as the trader is usually insolvent, the consumer has a low creditor priority and the sum involved is usually comparatively modest (though it can amount to thousands of pounds).
Also, despite the theoretical existence of a remedy, in practice a claim for restitution or compensation is unlikely to be worth the trouble and expense of pursuing in court.
Protection for the consumer lies principally with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Trading Standards.
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