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The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulation 2013

2014-03-06

By Jason Tate

From June 2014 new regulatory consumer practices shall be coming into affect in relation to doorstop and distance selling. So what does this mean for you, the customer? The government has so far released a guidance leaflet to brief businesses on the new implementations that are to replace the existing consumer protection laws. The new implementation looks to combine the laws regarding distance and doorstop selling. The main changes include extending cooling off periods to 14 days, of which the trader must refund them rather than the 7 days, which is in place at the moment. There will also be a ban on pre-ticked boxes on website as a form of payment, so not to trick or fool consumers into not being fully aware of payment. Help lines must also only be charged at a basic rate. However some products which were previously refundable are now not; which has cast skepticism on how much this will benefit the consumer and rather reduce their rights. It also important to note that these new regulations are exempt in relation to financial service agreements. This new bill looks to further protect consumer rights by providing better information to the customer before purchasing, try to eliminate any hidden costs and clearly explain cancellation rights that the consumer has. There have been mixed reviews about the benefits this provides to the customer, and if this new law actually complicates and confuses businesses through the combination of these two laws into one. We will be posting on this further as it draws nearer the time of implementation and any reviews made by the government on its current draft, watch this space!


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