From the 13th June 2014, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 come into force and if you supply goods, services and/or digital content to consumers online, then read on as these new regulations will affect you.
The Consumer Contracts Regulations replaces the previous law on Distance Selling and applies to all customer contracts for the supply of goods and services. Whilst many of the provisions are already required by existing legislation and will be familiar to traders, there are a small number of new changes.
As a result, businesses who sell to consumers, whether instore, online or phone, need to ensure that its terms and conditions, cancellation and refund policies are reviewed and updated to ensure compliance.
In summary, the new online trading regulations will implement the following changes:
Pre-ticked boxes, such as insurance add-ons and other extras will no longer be allowed at the point of purchase and will be down to the user to manually select.
The standard ‘Confirm’ or ‘Buy’ buttons will be changed and replaced with ‘Order with obligation to pay’ or something else that makes it unambiguous that it is a contractual agreement with an obligation to pay.
The Delivery of goods or services must be within 30 days unless otherwise specified.
Customers will be given an extra week to cancel and return goods from the original 7 to 14 days.
In addition to cancellations, refunds will be updated and traders must issue refunds within 14 days of the goods being received.
Confirmation of contract
Once a sale has been made, a trader must send confirmation to the consumer using a “durable medium”, usually email, within a reasonable timeframe and no later than the delivery of goods or commencement of services.
Phone charges must not exceed basic rate
Where traders offer telephone helplines for consumers to contact them about something they have purchased, a number should be made available charged at no more than the basic rate.
If you would like more information on how these changes may affect you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.