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New Distance-Selling Regulations In The UK

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 came into force on 13 June 2014. These are the main provisions as they relate to e-commerce sites.

Go check them out here - but this is what I have picked out of them:

  • The cooling off period is 14 days (previously 7 days) from the date the customer receives the goods.
  • The customer can only be charged for return delivery on cancellation if this is stated in the terms of business.
  • Refunds must be processed within 14 days after the day on which the seller receives the goods back or from the date upon which the customer provides evidence of having sent back the goods. Unless agreed otherwise, the customer may use the same method for returning the goods as for receiving the goods from the seller.
  • Goods must be delivered within 30 days of order. If that time is critical to the contract, the customer may cancel the order. If the timing is not critical then the customer may impose a further critical time within which the goods must be delivered and if not, then cancel the contract.
  • The button or other method the triggers the obligation to pay must use clear language  such as ‘pay now’ rather than ‘complete your order’
  • Certain information must be displayed just before the customer completes the contract. There is a proviso that where there is limited space to display the information then the main characteristics of the product or service, the total price and delivery charge, the time limit to cancel the contract and how to cancel the contract have be shown in a prominent place directly before a customer places an order. (Thought: The 'Basket' page is likely to have all the information except the right to cancel. Probably best to place this just below the 'Pay Now' button.)
  • The customer has to return the goods without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days after the day on which the customer informs the trader of the cancellation.
  • Premium rate telephone numbers for customer service are in breach of the regulations.

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