The fine print in contracts
Comments on the small print, in “a vivir que son dos días” of Cadena Ser
The host of the program echoed the appearance of the small print in contracts that often goes unnoticed by the consumer when contracting a service or acquiring a product. To comment on the legality of these clauses, José Luis Casajuana Espinosa was invited to the program as a lawyer, who contributed some important ideas.
The Royal Legislative Decree 1/2007, of November 16, approving the revised text of the General Law for the Defense of Consumers and Users, establishes the basic criteria for compliance with consumer rights against the abuses of some companies in the use of the fine print and general conditions of contracting.
Frequently companies use a specially reduced font size or introduce contractual clauses in order not to draw the attention of the interested party.
As reported by José Luis Casajuana in the radio program, the current regulations allow the consumer to request the non-application of such clauses when they have not been drafted with adequate clarity and transparency or their nullity is declared if they are abusive for consumers and users.
In addition, according to the referred law, contracts may not use a font size of less than 1.5 mm and that have sufficient contrast.
This law has been recently updated by Law 7/2017 of November 2 to adapt its content to European regulations by transposition of Directive 2013/11/EU of the Commission and the European Parliament of May 21, 2013.
Any user who has been harmed by clauses that do not enjoy the required transparency may claim through the courts that the consequences of that obscure clause – as this type of unclear clause is called in the legal doctrine – are not applied.