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If you own an eCommerce business, you must align your sales and customer service processes with relevant eCommerce and distance selling laws, including the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations (CCR) 2013.

In this article, we explain what these regulations cover and what your business needs to do to ensure it is compliant.

What are the Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCR) 2013?

The CCR 2013 applies to all consumer contracts entered on or after 13 June 2014. They require online traders to provide the following information to consumers;

  • A description of the goods, services, or digital content and if there is an ongoing commitment, for example, a subscription, how long this will apply for
  • How much the goods, services, or digital content will cost and how this cost is calculated
  • How payment is to be made plus any additional charges such as delivery charges and taxes
  • How goods can be returned if the customer changes their mind and who pays for any costs of returning the products
  • Details of cancellation rights plus a model cancellation form for the customer to use if they wish to cancel the contract
  • Your address and contact details
  • Details concerning the compatibility of digital content with hardware and other software

What is the ‘cooling off’ period?

If a customer purchases a product, service, or digital content ‘at a distance’ or, for example, online, they have 14 days to change their mind and return the goods or cancel the service in exchange for a full refund. 

Some exceptions to the ‘cooling off’ period, or cancellation period, include personalised goods, transport services, and hotels. The goods or services do not have to be faulty or inadequate, and the right to return/cancel within 14 days is absolute.

After the ‘cooling off’ period, there is a confirmation of the contract and acceptance of the goods from the client’s side.

Exceptions rules for distance selling

These rules do not apply to the following products or services:

  • NHS prescriptions and treatment (free and paid for)
  • Financial services, for example, pensions, mortgages, credit
  • The construction of new buildings (but not extensions)
  • Food and drink regularly supplied (like milkmen)
  • Gambling
  • Package holidays, timeshares and holiday clubs
  • Contracts to let a property the customer will live in, for example renting a house or flat (although they do apply to estate agents’ marketing services)
  • Goods bought from a vending machine
  • Bus, train, flight and other tickets for passenger travel

Get legal assistance from LawBite

The consequences of failing to provide the required information or not setting it out as prescribed in the CCR 2013 are harsh – cancellation rights may be extended for up to 12 months. 

To ensure you comply fully with the CCR 2013, our team of expert lawyers can provide the advice you need to meet your distance selling duties and responsibilities.

To find out how we can help your business to align your sales and customer service processes with relevant eCommerce and distance selling laws, book a free 15-minute consultation or call us on 020 3808 8314. 


Additional resources

In closing

Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice on which you should rely. The article is provided for general information purposes only. Professional legal advice should always be sought before taking any action relating to or relying on the content of this article. Our Platform Terms of Use apply to this article.

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