Contracts with Consumers – New rules from 13 June 2014

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If you deal with consumers then you need to be aware of the changes to the law which come into effect one month from today on 13 June 2014.

The Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 replace the Distance Selling Regulations and the Doorstep Selling Regulations and apply to contracts formed at a distance (usually online, mail order, and contracts formed through apps) and contracts made in the consumer’s home.

This blog post is about changes to distance contracts.  The major ones are as follows:

  • More detailed information has to be given to the consumer before the contract is formed. This includes the main characteristics of the goods or services, the identity of the trader including address and telephone number, the price and details of any delivery charges;
  • Changes to payment mechanisms to make it clear that a contract is being formed and that by placing an order the consumer has an obligation to pay;
  • Goods must be delivered within 30 days of the date of order and if the trader fails to do so the consumer can immediately cancel the contract and get a refund;
  • An extension of the cooling off period within which the consumer can cancel the contract and return the goods to 14 days from delivery;
  • Requirement that a consumer who has cancelled a contract returns the goods within 14 days;
  • Traders can’t use premium rate telephone lines for consumers to contact them about existing contracts.

If you sell goods online we recommend that you update your terms and conditions of sale and look at your website to make sure that it will meet the new rules when they come into force.  Failure to comply is an offence and can result in a fine of up to £5,000.

Alex and Matthew can help you to update your terms of business to make sure that you comply with the new rules. Give us a call on 01904 428725 or email Alex at for more information.