Is your selling going the distance?

As you probably are aware, the Long distance selling regulations were incorporated into The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 which apply to any sale that is conducted online, at a distance or away from a traders premises, so what effect does this have on you as a trader?

The regulation placed obligations on the trader to give consumers certain information. Therefore when posting your adverts you should bear this in mind. You are obligated to provide:

•    A description of the goods

•    The total price of the goods or services (if this cannot be determined then how the price will be calculated)

•    Cost of delivery and who is responsible for the cost of returning items if the consumer wishes to return the goods

•    Details of any right to cancel

•    Information on your trading premises, address and phone number
 
If this information is not provided in accordance with the regulations then it may allow the consumers cancellation rights to be extended up to a year! Ideally the information should be provided on paper unless its agreed but another format such as in a email. It can be provided verbally but to help eliminate any miscommunication we would always recommend doing so on paper.

The regulations allow the consumer 14 days to cancel a purchase that has been made and requires the refund within a further 14 days from returning the goods. The 14 days begin when the consumer enters into an agreement with the trader to purchase and once the goods are delivered, a further 14 days to cancel is available to the consumer. What is more worrying, the consumer has another 14 days to return the goods to the trader!

The regulations state that a deduction can be made to the refund if the value of the goods have been reduced, therefore if the consumer has managed to travel a staggering distance in the vehicle within 14 days from delivering, there can be an argument for a deduction on the refund.

Obviously, if the goods have been tailor made or customised then the regulations do not provide the consumer with a right to cancel.

We have seen an increase in enquiries regarding what is considered as a sale applicable to the regulations, if you take a deposit over the phone then this is deemed as a long distance sale.

Lawgistics members
can get advice on the long distance sales regulations from the Legal team.

 

Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 15 Sep 2015

Comments

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Roxanne Bradley - Lawgistics Ltd (27/09/2015)
Hi Steve W & WB Motors, To help clarify... If a deposit is paid over the phone without viewing the vehicle in person i.e the customer has seen the advertisement online and places a deposit with you over the phone, asking for the vehicle to be delivered to them, and doesn’t view the vehicle at your premises to complete sale, this would still be viewed as a long distance sale. However this will only apply if the transaction is deemed to be an organised distance sale, so if it’s a one off, we may be able to argue that the regulations do not apply here. However, if the vehicle is viewed first in person at your site and then goes away to consider and decides to proceed and pays a deposit over the phone, this would not be a long distance sale. If a holding fee is paid over the phone and is specifically relayed and communicated to the customer that this is to hold the vehicle whilst the customer is travelling only and is separate/different from a deposit then this could be argued that it is a separate contract and therefore not be considered a long distance sale. Obviously this would be in hope that the sale would be completed at the premises or a actual deposit then left. The key element is, has a deposit been paid without viewing the vehicle? If so, then it would be a distance sale (if deemed to be part of an organised scheme as stated above).
WB motors (17/09/2015)
If a deposit is placed over the phone then the customer views on site before completing the sake I assume this is not distance selling?
Steve W (17/09/2015)
Is it still deemed a long distance sale if a holding deposit is taken over the phone (to allow the customer to travel to see the car without the risk that it will be sold while he is travelling), but then agrees and concludes the deal on our premises?
Roxanne Bradley - Lawgistics Ltd (17/09/2015)
Hi Nick, if the wheel refurbishment is in accordance to the vehicle i.e the standard silver or the paint correction is to touch up any scratches or chips then this would be viewed as standard preparation. Customised or tailor made would be if the client has requested for the vehicle to be re-sprayed pink as opposed to the standard blue or if the client has requested the suspension to be lowered or dual clutch/brake added.
Nick Dove House (17/09/2015)
'Obviously, if the goods have been tailor made or customised then the regulations do not provide the consumer with a right to cancel'. Would this apply if the customer has requested cosmetic preparation such as wheel refurbishments, paint correction etc?



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