Distance Selling Regs and The Consumer Rights Directive
Best Years do not sell direct to consumers but we do keep in regualr contact with our Trading Standards office and we thought their updates would be of interest to you if you sell either on line or at shows.
In preparation for the start of your Xmas sales how aware are you of the Consumer Rights Directive?
It is aimed at putting an end to certain bad practices such as hidden charges ( I recently got caught for an £11.50 debit card charge on a purchase of tickets of just £80! As someone who know what credit/debit charges actually are I was particulalry incensed at such blatant robbery)
It will also clarify rights for both retailers and consumers
The Consumer Rights Directive contains provisions on:
Information to be given before a consumer buys goods or services on the trader’s premises
Information to be given before a consumer buys goods or services away from the trader’s premises (eg at home or at a fair), or at a distance (internet, telesales)
Cancellation rights and responsibilities where the consumer buys goods or services away from the trader’s premises or at a distance
Delivery times for goods, clarifying what deadlines for delivery should be and where responsibilities lie if there is a problem
Post-contract customer helplines, where existing customers must be charged no more than the basic rate for phone calls
Additional payments (on top of the main price of a purchase) which would need to have active or express consent of the consumer eg pre-ticked boxes which the consumer must ‘untick’ will no longer be allowed
Fees charged for a particular method of payment (eg credit card surcharges). This will be the subject of a separate consultation, to be published shortly.
You can read more about it here
However as a rule of thumb the following is considered good practice
1. Provide a full geographic address
2. Provide a proper email contact address
3. Flag up hidden or unexpected charges early in the buying process
4. Be clear and open about cancellation rights
5. Provide a full refund plus refund of delivery charges when things go wrong
The European Court has ruled that consumers buying from a website must be given information on refunds and cancellations. It is no longer enough to have the information displayed on your website, you must actively give it to the consumer (in the confirmation email, with the delivery etc).
In theory this extends the time period in which a consumer can ask for a refund to up to 3 month
And did you know that if the consumer does not like the goods, and returns them within 7 days, then the retailer must refund not just the cost of the goods but also the delivery charge
However they do not have to cover the actual cost of return.
Next were caught out as they gave the consumer free returns but did not refund the original delivery charge. So even if it costs more to return the goods than it did to send them back you must ensure you refund the original delivery charge or you'll end up being liable for both!
This is because the consumer is judged not to have sufficient information at point of sale (ie the website or catalogue) to make a decision.
This not include personalised goods
For more information please see the Trading Standards website because they are fab!
|home | about us | quality promise | terms and conditions | news | contact us | links|