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09th June 2014

The New Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 – their impact

This short article highlights the key changes introduced by the UK’s Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.

 

They affect (among others) online traders.

The Regulations will be coming into force on 13 June 2014. The key changes include the following.

  • Traders must confirm contracts by email addressed personally to the consumer.
  • Order buttons must now be labelled with the phrase “Order with obligation to pay” or other wording which unambiguously informs the consumer that placing an order entails an obligation to pay.
  • The statutory minimum cooling off (cancellation) period is extended from 7 working days to 14 calendar days. However, if the trader fails to give the consumer the required information in relation to his cancellation rights this period is extended by an additional 12 months.
  • To exercise the above right consumers must be given the option of using the model cancellation form provided in the Regulations. The consumer is obliged to return the goods at his own cost within 14 days after the day on which he informs the trader that he is cancelling the contract.
  • The consumer must also pay the cost of returning the goods unless either the trader has agreed to pay the costs or the trader has failed to inform the consumer that he is required to pay the costs.
  • The trader must reimburse all payments received from the consumer upon cancellation, except that it may deduct the amount of any diminution in value of the goods as result of the handling of the goods by the consumer (though this right will be lost if the trader failed to inform the consumer correctly of his rights to cancel).
  • Reimbursement must be made within 14 days after the day on which the trader receives the goods back or the day on which the consumer supplies evidence of having sent the goods.
  • Goods must be delivered within 30 days of purchase (unless the consumer has expressly agreed otherwise) and risk may only pass on delivery.

In light of the above it would be advisable for online traders to perform a thorough review of their websites to ensure that they comply with the new law.

For more information, please contact James Lawrence 01223 532716 or click here to email James.

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