CMA launches legal action against Care UK over upfront fees
The CMA has begun court action against Care UK after it refused to refund residents who had paid compulsory upfront fees.
Last December, the CMA told Care UK to refund over 1,600 residents who were charged as much as £3,000 in upfront fees or face legal action (see BREAKING NEWS: CMA threatens legal action against Care UK over upfront fees).
The CMA said it believed Care UK was breaking consumer protection law by requiring a substantial non-refundable administration fee from residents for which they received no services or products.
It added that it believed Care UK’s description of the charge and what it was for was misleading and that residents were told about it too late in the admission process.
While Care UK has stopped charging the fee it has refused to refund any residents.
The provider said there was no evidence that its residents had been disadvantaged or that its fees had breached consumer law.
It added that it did not agree with the CMA’s claim that there were no one-off costs associated with care home admissions, citing initial care assessments and the installation of specialist equipment as examples.
A Care UK spokesperson said: “The CMA is simply wrong to suggest residents who paid a one-off admission or administration fee, covering genuine and essential activities undertaken once, before admission, should be wholly or partially refunded. Without the previous one-off fee, weekly fees would have been commensurately higher, so no loss has been suffered.”
The provider said it would defend itself against legal action taken by the CMA.