On 1 December, the UK Competition and Markets Authority launched a review of consumer issues in relation to cloud storage.
Given that some 40% of UK adults use cloud storage, the CMA is concerned about reports of providers changing “unlimited storage” deals after customers had signed up, and of lost or inaccessible data. The CMA is inviting comments from consumers and providers on a range of issues, including the advertising and purchasing of services, changes to contracts, information provided before and during contract periods, methods and consequences (including for stored data) of renewal and cancellation of contracts, and common problems.
The CMA is requesting responses by 15 January, and aims to publish a summary of its findings and next steps in May 2016. They could include a range of actions, from publishing guidance to launching a more detailed market study or taking consumer law enforcement action. Interestingly, one of the legal bases for the review, in addition to general consumer protection legislation, is the newly enacted Consumer Rights Act 2015, which sets out consumer rights and remedies in relation to the supply of goods, services and digital context, and in relation to unfair contract terms for contracts entered into since 1 October 2015.
We will monitor the review as it progresses.