As a rule of thumb, I would advise for suppliers to have their terms and conditions regularly reviewed to take account of legislative changes. However, for those who undertake website sales with consumers or who enter contracts with consumers away from their premises, it is now even more advisable for such a review to be undertaken.
This is because of the fact that the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 are now in force. These Regulations apply to website consumer sales as distance contracts as well as off-premises contracts with consumers and replace:
- the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000; and
- the Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer’s Home or Place of Work etc. Regulations 2008.
Key provisions of these Regulations include:
- a right for consumers to cancel the contract within a cooling off period of 14 days (compared to the previous period of 7 days); and
- where a consumer has a right to cancel a contract, a requirement that the trader provides the consumer with a model cancellation form.
In view of these Regulations, my advice is that:
- businesses selling to consumers through websites should review their terms of sale and procedures to ensure they are compliant; and
- businesses who enter contracts with consumers away from their business premises, such as estate agents who enter agency agreements with house sellers in their home, should also review their contracts and procedures to ensure they are compliant.
If you are in a position of needing to review your terms and conditions, or haven’t done so in a long time – please feel free to contact me on 01908 660966 or by e-mail at Christopher.Buck@franklins-sols.co.uk.