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The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations (the Regulations) come into force this Friday (13 June 2014).
If you run an e-commerce site it should be all tweaked and ready to go on Friday.
That's the theory at least. As is typically the case, many businesses haven't heard a thing about it. Indeed, It may well only fall within the radar of many businesses, particularly smaller ones, when they hear about it whilst munching on some toast over breakfast during the next few days or so:
and in other news, new ecommerce regulations come into force today…
So here's a recap of some of the material available if you are a bit stuck or in a bit of a flap about it all:
And as if all of that wasn't enough, don't forget that further laws (The Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations 2014) are coming into force on 1 October 2014. For a bit more information about these, have a peek at our interview with Hannah Roberts and Craig Chaplin of DWF: Three things that you need to know about the Consumer Protection (Amendment) Regulations.
It is clear, from all of the above, that information and transparency are some of the key watch words of the Regulations.
Consumers should always be aware of the identity of those with whom they are dealing when they make purchases via distance-selling methods. Overall, a good rule of thumb is that they should have the same information available to them as if they were making their purchase face-to-face with the business itself. If not more!
Further details are set out in the Regulations themselves (at regulation 13(1) and Schedule 2) which provide that certain information (and it is quite a long list) must be provided in a clear and comprehensible way. Needless to say, this list should be checked carefully. What's more, any information provided to customers by a business should also be double-checked for complete accuracy given that any information provided by the business will be a term of the contract.
Finally (for today at least), don't forget the 'model cancellation form' in Schedule 3 which has to be provided if a customer has a right to cancel under the Regulations. Although its use by the consumer is not obligatory, it is obligatory for a business to provide this to customers (see regulation 13(1)(b)).
So what do you think about this all?
Yet more legal red tape to confuse traders and customers? Or are they an opportunity to ensure that both traders and customers know what to expect from each other?
Let us know on the form below!
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