Changes to the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013

Changes to the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013 Post

New Consumer Contract Regulations come into force June 2014

The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 will apply from 13th June 2014 and will replace the current Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 (often referred to as the Distance Selling Regulations) and the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home of Place of Work regulations 2008.

If you sell goods and services to consumers then you are likely to be affected by changes in this legislation with those who sell online seeing the biggest change.

** The regulations set out:

  • The information which a trader must give to a consumer before and after making a sale
  • How that information should be given
  • The right for consumers to change their minds when buying at a distance or off-premises
  • Delivery times and passing of risk
  • Prohibition on any additional payments which appear as a default option
  • Prohibition on consumers having to pay more than the basic rate for post-contract customer helplines.

*Information from www.gov.uk

Although as existing traders you will be familiar with much of the directive as it is currently legislated in the existing regulations, however there are some changes and we would recommend you go to the Goverment and Trading Standards websites for information and guidance and they can be found here -
https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/providing-better-information-and-protection-for-consumers/supporting-pages/implementing-the-consumer-rights-directive-2011-83-eu
or
https://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/advice-business.cfm

The following key areas have been identified from both of the sources above…

Before consumers buy:

Regardless of the method of sale, therefore including “distance selling”, you should provide clear information to consumers before they buy.

Additional charges:

There should be no additional charges for customers unless the expressly agree to them and further to this there should be no default option for additional payments.

It will no longer be permitted for traders to have pre-ticked boxes for additional payments so sellers will need the active consent of the buyer for all payments.

If a consumer has not been advised of charges prior to purchasing then they will not be liable for costs.

While consumers are buying:

Consumers should not be paying excessive fees (eg. excessive credit card fees). There are regulations that prohibit traders charging ‘above cost’ payment charges. After you buy:

The ‘cooling off period’ for distance selling over the internet has increased from 7 days to 14 days after purchase.

Following purchase, if the seller wishes to provide a customer helpline this must be through an available number which is chargeable at no more than the basic rate.

Please note that as per www.gov.uk

These regulations are part of a wider, fundamental reform of consumer law, including the draft Consumer Rights Bill, which aims to make consumers better informed and better protected when they’re buying.”

How can we help you?

Nobody knows your business better than you! We recommend that your terms and conditions are regularly checked and amended to keep in line with the new regulations…

Call us on 01899 438088 for advice or to implement changes to your site