Posted by Jessica Bent, Partner
Do your contracts go the distance?
Jessica Bent, Technology & Media law expert, highlights the recent law which has made changes to contracts between consumers and providers of products or services which use distance selling.
Top tips on getting your consumer contracts in line with the law
One minute test – do the changes affect you?
The changes will affect you if: (i) you sell or provide products or services to consumers and (ii) your contracts are distance selling.
A consumer is “an individual acting for purposes which are wholly or mainly outside that individual’s trade, business, craft or profession”. So if you sell to individuals, even if you sell to individuals who are acting for mixed purposes (business and personal), the changes will affect you, if you are distance selling.
Distance selling contracts?
This means that the contract must be concluded using one or more means of distance communication, for example telephone sales, internet sales or catalogues.
If the changes apply to you, it is important to adjust the way you do business in accordance with the new law, or you may face penalties.
The main changes you should be aware of are as follows:
- The pre-contract information, such as information on the supplier and the product and about the consumer’s rights, which must be given to a consumer of a distance contract, has been extended to include more details about cancellation rights, return costs and details on how complaints can be made.
- All payments must be cleared with the consumer before they are taken: this means that pre-ticked boxes authorising payments will no longer be allowed and the consumer must be aware of when payment is triggered.
- The cancellation period must be extended to 14 calendar days and the consumer must then return the goods within 14 days of the cancellation. Consumers should also be provided with a model cancellation form.
- Premium phone lines are prohibited and the goods purchased must be delivered within 30 days, unless agreed otherwise.
Our Technology & Media team are the experts in protecting your business, online and offline, and helping you get most value out of it.
If you have any about your contracts and compliance with the new law, contact us now to see how our Technology & Media lawyers can help
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