UK CMA wants fairer terms and conditions for cloud storage

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reviewed consumer law concerning cloud storage and will be working with companies to ensure that they provide terms and practices that are fair to consumers.

So far Dixons Carphone plc, JustCloud and Livedrive have all committed to providing fairer terms for customers of their cloud storage services. The CMA will also continue to work with a number of other companies to help make their terms and practices fairer.

In its review, the CMA found that around 3 out of 10 British adults utilise cloud storage for their own personal digital content. A majority of users are taking advantage of the cloud storage that came with their smartphones and tablets and are satisfied with the features and services that they have received for free.

The CMA did also discover that some business have included terms and practices in their contracts which could be in breach of consumer law. Three in particular were highlighted in the review:

  • Changing the service or terms of the contract at any time for any reason without notice
  • Suspending or terminating the contract without notice for any reason
  • Automatically renewing a contract at the end of a fixed term without providing notice or withdrawal rights

The way in which Dixons Carphone plc, JustCloud and Livedrive committed to change their terms and practices was praised by the CMA. However it also stressed the point that companies which fail to comply with consumer law will be at risk of enforcement by the authorities.

The CMA has also published an open letter to businesses in which it advised them to review the terms of their contracts to make sure they are fair for consumers and ensure that the necessary information regarding their services was provided before they were sold.

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