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  • New regulations for Distance sellers!!!

    21st May 2014 in legal, Max Montague

     

    Will you be ready when these regulations come into force on the 13th June?

    Before being dismissed as another interference with the way you conduct business, it’s worth noting that failure to comply with certain of   The Consumer Contracts (information cancellation and additional charges) Regulations 2013 could lead to a prosecution and subsequent fine of up to £5,000!!!

    • Schedule 1 to the regulations lists the information to be provided for on-premises contracts
    • Schedule 2 to the regulations lists the information to be provided for distance and off-premises contracts (e.g. sales from website or over the telephone)
    • Where cancellation rights exist, all distance and off-premises sellers covered by the regulations will need to provide the cancellation form set out in Schedule 3 to the regulations.
    • The online trader will need to make absolutely clear, through for instance a labelled ‘pay now’ button, where there is an obligation to pay.
    • Online and other distance or off-premises traders will be able to withhold refunds until goods are returned (or evidence of return is provided) and they can reduce the amount of money refunded for goods returned which show evidence of use beyond the handling necessary to see whether the goods are as expected.
    • Risk passes from the trader to the consumer when the goods are delivered unless the courier is chosen and arranged by the consumer. In this case risk passes to the consumer when the item is delivered to the courier.

    The main changes from the previous regulations are:-

    • The time limit for consumers to cancel is extended to 14 days after which they have 14 days to return goods. Failure to give consumers the correct notice can extend the period by 12 months!
    • Sellers have an obligation to deliver goods “without undue delay” and certainly within 30 days.

    There are special provisions relating to the provision of digital content

    There are certain circumstances where part only of the regulations applies:-
    • passenger transport contracts are exempt from cancellation rights and from most of the information requirements.
    • Low value off-premises contracts (value less than £42) are exempt from the information and cancellation provisions of the regulations but subject to those on additional payments and charges, delivery and risk.
    • Items dispensed on prescription are exempt from the information and cancellation provisions of the regulations.

    This is clearly not an exhaustive description or advice on the new regulations but it should encourage you to seek expert advice on any existing terms and conditions you currently use or publish on your website, and to review the systems you have in place to ensure compliance.

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