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Consumer Contracts Regulations

Consumer Contracts Regulations

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

These regulations require consumer’s to be given cancellation rights and information about goods or services bought online, at a distance, or away from the trader’s premises (for example, at home or at work)

Some goods and services aren’t covered by the regulations altogether (including contracts for the sale of land or construction of buildings and items bought from vending machines or auctions).

Cancellation rights:

Goods

For goods bought at a distance, you usually have a right to cancel your order anytime from the moment you place the order until 14 days from the day after you receive the goods.

Regardless of what a trader may say the timeframe above is for stating that you want to cancel and not the timeframe for actually getting the goods back to them.

There are items you can't return if you change your mind including:

  • CDs, DVDs or software if you've broken the seal on the wrapping
  • perishable and other items that deteriorate rapidly such as food and flowers, and
  • customised goods
  • concert tickets, newspapers and magazines.

The trader has to refund the basic delivery cost, but no additional costs such as ‘guaranteed next day delivery’.

Services

When you buy services at a distance, you usually have from the moment you place the order until 14 days from the day after you placed that order to let the seller know you want to cancel. Methods of cancellation; requires only a ‘clear statement’.

There are some contracts for services you can’t cancel, simply because you change your mind, these include:

  • Contracts for leisure and transport services to be provided on a specific date e.g. hotel bookings, flights, car hire and concert and other event tickets.

If you agree to the service starting within the 14 day cancellation period, the retailer can charge you for any service you have had the benefit of if you then decide to cancel.

The Regulations set out the minimum cancellation rights a consumer must be given and traders often go beyond this so it’s always worth checking the sellers terms and conditions to see what their returns policy is.

Information requirements

The seller must give you certain information before you decide whether to buy including a description of the goods or service, their price, information about the trader, delivery and any cancellation rights. The trader must give this information in a ‘durable medium’.

Failure to supply this information, may mean a possible extension of your cancellation rights by 12 months.

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