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.