Consumer Contracts Regulations

On 13 June 2014, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/3134) came into force.   These Regulations implement the european Consumer Rights Directive (2011/83/EU) in the UK.   They apply to most consumer contracts that are made on or after 13 June 2014.  In very broad summary:

  • Traders must seek consent before taking any additional payments;
  • Unless the consumer agrees otherwise the Trader must deliver any goods within 30 calendar days;
  • Traders must not require a consumer to use a premium rate telephone line to make contact about an existing contract;
  • In respect of distance selling the Regulations:
    • extend consumer rights to the supply of digital content;
    • extend the statutory cooling-off period to 14 calendar days (this can be extended to up to a year if the Trader does not comply with the Regulations);
    • require the Trader to provide the consumer with a model cancellation form where there is a right to cancel;
    • require websites to make it clear when the obligation to pay is triggered;
    • require consumers to return goods within 14 days of cancelling the contract;
    • allow Traders to withhold a refund until the goods are returned (or evidence of their return is provided).

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