Did you know The Distance Selling Regulations no longer apply in UK law. The Consumer Contracts Regulations – which came into force in the UK in June 2014 – now apply when making online purchases.
The Consumer Contracts Regulations
From 13 June 2014 the Consumer Contracts Regulations – which implement the Consumer Rights Directive in UK law – apply to all purchases you make at a distance.
The Distance Selling Regulations have been subsumed into this new piece of legislation.
Until 13 June 2014, the Distance Selling Regulations were the rules that protected your consumer rights when buying products from a distance, for example, online or over the phone.
They set out information the seller must give about the goods or service on offer, including:
- a description of the goods or service
- the price of the goods or service
- delivery and any cancellation rights
- information about the seller
This information will normally be set out in the terms and conditions, but if you’re buying goods over the phone the seller can provide the information verbally.
The information about the seller must include a geographical address if payment is taken. When you place an order, the seller becomes obliged by law to provide further information in writing or by email.
This includes details of how to exercise any right to cancel and who is responsible for the cost of returning goods. If the seller has already provided this information they don’t need to do so again.
If the seller wants to send substitute goods, because they don’t have the items you wanted in stock, it should say so before you place your order.
The cost of returning substitutes should always be at the seller’s expense.
To find out more read Which?’s easy to read guide – http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/regulation/consumer-contracts-regulations
Or the more technical version on the Gov site – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/contents/made