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Electronic commerce

Guidance for retailers who buy and sell goods and services to consumers via the internet, by phone or by mail order.

Consumers' rights when buying over the internet are the same as when they buy goods from the high street.

Consumers may also have additional rights, however, under The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. These replace the previous Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 - often referred to as the Distance Selling Regulations - and the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations 2008 for all contracts made since 13 June 2014. In most cases, they are entitled to a fourteen working day cancellation period during which they can change their minds.

Key legislation

The Regulations more specific to distance selling and internet trading are:

Guidance notes

The pages listed below provide the information that explains what information you need to provide to your customers. They will help you to understand your customers' rights and deal with customer complaints, refunds and returns.

  • Consumer contracts - distance sales
    The rules when you form contracts at a distance, including information requirements and cancellation rights.
     
  • Consumer contracts - off-premises sales
    The rules when you form contracts away from your business premises, including information requirements and cancellation rights.
     
  • Consumer contracts - on-premises sales
    The rules when you form contracts on your business premises, including information requirements.
  • E-commerce and the law
    The Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002 seek to encourage consumer confidence in on-line trading and to help businesses understand what they have to do to comply with the law.

  • The Distance Selling Hub - Trading Standards website
    Provides guidance for retailers and business support organisations on regulations that affect buying and selling goods and services via the internet, phone, mail order, email, interactive TV or text.

  • Internet auction sites
    Special rules apply when selling over the internet via an auction site or marketplace (as opposed to your own website). 

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 12 Oct 2015 at 11:48