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Consumer Scotland Act 2020

Section 25 – Interpretation

62.As noted in relation to section 24, the goods or services purchased, used or received must be supplied in the course of a business if the individual or business is to be a consumer for the purposes of this legislation. A business is defined widely to include a not-for-profit enterprise which exists wholly or mainly to benefit society or a profession as well as the activities of any government department, local or public authority or other public body. The term “goods” is defined widely to include the purchase of land.

63.The term “consumer matters” is defined as meaning the interests of consumers and any matter connected with that.

64.The term “vulnerable consumers” is defined to mean consumers who, by reason of their circumstances or characteristics may have significantly fewer or less favourable options as consumers than a typical consumer, or are otherwise at a significantly greater risk of harm to their interests as consumers, or to the harm that is caused being more substantial, than would be the case for a typical consumer. A person may be a vulnerable consumer when circumstances cause that person to have fewer options, or to be more at risk of harm, than a typical consumer – for example by virtue of age, mental or physical health, economic circumstances, geography, caring responsibilities, or because of a bereavement. The characteristics or circumstances which may result in a person being a vulnerable consumer may be short-term, long-term or permanent. The definition makes it clear that this is a matter which is likely to fluctuate and the question of whether someone is vulnerable will depend on the particular circumstances and context they find themselves in at a particular time.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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