Ecommerce Regulations For Selling Online

If you are selling online in the UK, you should already be aware of the Distance Selling Regulations – the legislation that covers anything bought via online shopping, mail order, over the telephone or a TV shopping channel. From 13th June 2014 these were superseded by the new Conusmer Contracts Regulations, which implement the Consumer Rights Directive in UK law. As well as applying to items bought online or at a distance, they also include those items bought away from a trader’s premises, e.g. at work or at home, which was covered by the Doorstep Selling Regulations.

So, what’s the difference? Well, there are a number changes that it’s important to take note of:

The customer’s right to cancel their order for goods starts from the moment that they place their order, and only ends 14 days from the day that they receive their goods. This used to be 7 days, starting the day after goods were received. If their order is sent in batches, the 14 days period starts when the final batch arrives.

You now need to provide customers with a standard cancellation form, but they are not actually obliged to use it.

You should provide a refund to the customer within 14 days of you receiving the returned goods or the customer providing proof that they dispatched the goods to you, e.g. a Post Office Proof of Postage receipt. You can make a deduction from the amount refunded if the returned goods have been handled in such a way that devalues them. Remember that customers are allowed to handle goods they receive in the same way as they would while evaluating them in a shop.

You cannot charge for the return of goods that are faulty, that don’t do what they are supposed to, or fail to match the description you provided. As the retailer, you have to refund the basic cost of having the goods returned to you. If the customer opted for ‘enhanced’ delivery, e.g. Express or Overnight, you do not need to refund that full amount – just the basic cost of getting the goods back to you. There are some exceptions to what can be cancelled and refunded: DVDs, CDs or software on which the customer has broken the seal or wrapping, perishable items, personalised and tailor-made items are all exempt.

Some online retailers employ the tactic of charging for items or services that the customer may not necessarily want. This could be by using pre-ticked boxes to add extended guarantees or accessories to the basket in such a way that the customer may be unaware as to what has happened. From now on the customer is entitled to their money back if you do this.

If your telephone number for Customer Services is charged at any more than a basic rate, you’ll need to change that. Phone lines for taking sales can use 0844 numbers and the like that charge a more than the basic rate. However, post-sale enquiries must be directed to a number that charges a basic rate, e.g. those that start 01, 02 or 03.

I’ve just zipped through some of the main changes to the regulations for selling at a distance. The Trading Standards website has more information to help you keep on the right side of the law.

More To Explore

Coronavirus: Help For Your Business

Let’s not beat around the bush here – the Coronavirus Crisis is hitting a lot of businesses really hard. Your orders may have dried up overnight or you’re suddenly having to cope with trying to run your business from home. I’d like to help with some resources that you’ll find really useful: [FREE WEBINAR] How

Scroll to Top

Book Your Discovery Call

Book your 15-minute Discovery Call with me – the calendar shows days and times that are available. This is your opportunity to explore the options available and gain a clearer idea of what would suit you best.

I’m looking forward to learning more about your business.

Andrew McEwan

Do you have a general question about what we do? Here's how to get in touch...

Email

Drop us an email at [email protected]

Telephone

Call FREE 0800 634 92 96 or 01573 440355

Our normal office hours are:
Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm

Live Chat

Check the Live Chat tab at the bottom right of the page to see if we’re online right now.

Voicebank

Please use our Support service if you are a customer and you are experiencing issues with any of the services we directly provide for you, or if you would like to request updates, amendments, etc. We will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Email

Send an email to [email protected] and a support ticket will be automatically raised for you. You will be notified by email when we have responded to it.

Clicking the button below will open a new email for you, already addressed to [email protected].

Voicebank

Call our Support Voicebank on 0333 335 0056 and leave a message. Remember to leave your name, details of the issue you’re experiencing and the best way to reach you.

We’ll get back to you as soon as possible for any further info that we need to resolve your issue and to keep you updated on progress.

Please use our Support service if you are a customer and you are experiencing issues with any of the services we directly provide for you, or if you would like to request updates, amendments, etc. We will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Email

Send an email to [email protected] and a support ticket will be automatically raised for you. You will be notified by email when we have responded to it.

Clicking the button below will open a new email for you, already addressed to [email protected].

https://securecart.andwedothis.com/jumpstart/
×

 

Hi!

Click on the name below to chat on WhatsApp...

×