Anicca Digital

New Regulations Set to Change How Websites Sell to Consumers (14th June 2014)

Since the EU passed the new Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) in October 2011, many online retailers have prepared themselves for the changes which are set to come into force on the 14th June 2014. The new regulations where introduced with the sole aim of simplifying consumer rights – specifically those relating to buying and selling.
For a full overview of who will be affected by these changes and what you need to do to ensure you keep in line with the new regulations continue reading.

Who is Affected by the New Consumer Rights Directive (CRD)?

This is split into three main categories – off-premises selling, distance selling and on-premises selling. However, if you’re a website owner selling to consumers then you will probably fall under the distance selling category. For each category there are a set of changes which as an operating trader you need to adhere to.
First off, here is an explanation of each category.

Off Premises Selling

You fall under this category if you;

  1. Confirm a contract between you and the consumer in a place that is not on the business premises – for example, in the consumer’s home or place of work.
  2. Confirm a contract with a consumer (either in the traders’ business premises or via distant communication) shortly after a meeting which was not on the traders premises.
  3. Confirm a contract with a consumer which was made on an excursion organised by you (the trader) with the sole aim of promoting your goods or services.

Distance Selling

You fall under this category if you;

On Premises Selling

You fall under this category if you;

Who is NOT Affected by the New Regulations?

There are a few industries which are not affected by the new regulations. These include;

More details on this can be found here.

What Changes Need to Be Made in Order to Comply with the New Regulations?

Below is an overview of the new regulations which will affect online retailers, ecommerce stores and website owners who sell their services via the internet (please see definitions above to see if you are classified as a distance seller).

Additional Information

The new regulations require all website owners who are classified as ‘distance sellers’ to provide additional information to their consumers. This includes;

Cancellation Period Increased to 14 Days

If a consumer wants to cancel their order then they have two options. They can either withdraw their offer if it has not been accepted by the trader or they can cancel their order within a specific time period.

 

 

Type of Contract Cancellation Period Ends
A Service Contract 14 days after the day on which the contract was made
The Supply of Digital Content (Not supplied on a tangible medium) 14 days after the day on which the contract was made
A sales contract (goods or goods and services) 14 days after the day on which the goods come into the physical possession of the consumer or the person that she asks you to deliver the goods to
A sales contract consisting of an order for multiple goods which are delivered on different days 14 days after the day on which the last of the goods come into the physical possession of the consumer or the person that she asks you to deliver the goods to
A sales contract consisting of an order for multiple lots or pieces which are delivered on different days 14 days after the day on which the last of the lots or pieces come into the physical possession of the consumer or the person that she asks you to deliver the goods to
A sales contract for regular delivery of goods during a period of longer than one day 14 days after the day on which the first of the goods come into the physical possession of the consumer or the person that she asks you to deliver the goods to

 

Below is an overview of the new cancellation period.

Further information surrounding this can be found here.

Remove Negative Options for Additional Charges

If there are additional options in the main contract then paying for these additional options must not be the default option. Consumers should always be asked for their consent.

Remove Basic Rate Telephone Charges for Existing Customers

If you have a telephone line for consumers who have an existing contract with you then you cannot charge more than a basic rate for this service. With this in mind, you can only charge normal geographical or mobile rates.
In the instance that a consumer is charged more than the basic rate they are entitled to claim any overcharge back from you.

Delivery Time for Goods

It is your responsibility to deliver the goods that you have sold to a customer, unless it has been agreed otherwise. If a delivery time has not been agreed then it is your responsibility to deliver the goods without delay and no later than 30 days from the day the contract with the consumer was made.
If you refuse to deliver the goods, you fail to deliver within the agreed time frame or the consumer has specified a specific delivery period that you have failed to meet then the consumer is able to request a full refund or terminate the contract.

Passing of Risk

Any goods which you deliver will be your responsibility (risk) until the goods in question are in the possession of the consumer of the individual they have asked the goods to be delivered to. If the consumer organises their own delivery, this is not your responsibility.
With this in mind, if you fail to deliver the goods or the goods are delivered to the wrong person then this is classified as your responsibility, not the consumers.

Inertia Selling

If you send unsolicited goods to potential consumers in the hope of making a sale, then according to the new regulations the consumers do not have to take any action. In other words, they don’t need to inform you if they have received the good, they don’t need to send them back to you – and in fact, they can keep them.
For further information surrounding the new regulations please click here.