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Are you prepared for the new Consumer Contract Regulations?

Are you prepared for the new Consumer Contract Regulations?

Do you sell goods, services or digital content to consumers on-line, from a distance or off-premises? As part of a major overhaul of consumer regulations that came into force in June this year, the new Consumer Contracts Regulations mean your consumer contracts and terms and conditions of business may need to be reviewed.

The Regulations implement the EU Consumer Rights Directive and apply to contracts between consumers and traders concluded on or after 13 June 2014.

What’s new?

Be aware of the main changes, likely to affect your business, including:

Information you must give to consumers before and after making a sale and how this information is to be conveyed.  For example, if you fail to provide a consumer with the requisite statutory information the consumer’s right to cancel can be extended for up to one year;

  1. The new ‘cooling-off’ period which has increased from 7 to 14 days;
  2. The prohibition of any additional payments which come as a ‘default’ option, such as pre-ticked boxes on order forms;
  3. Delivery time must be 30 days unless otherwise agreed;
  4. The provision that consumers will not be liable for any costs they have not been made aware of pre-contract.

These new regulations were just one part of a significant change to consumer rights due to come into force this year. We hope businesses can look forward to a simplification of the law, which aims to consolidate existing consumer statutes. It is without doubt time for the statute book to catch up with the exponential growth of online retail services; and businesses must be ready for change too.

For more on legal requirements for online commerce, see Rocket Lawyer UK ‘s legal guide with links to key documents your business may need.

Rebecca Facey

Rebecca studied Law at the University of Exeter and completed Legal Practice Course with Distinction at Cardiff University. She started her training contract with Thackray Williams in September 2012.
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