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Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

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Thursday
Aug292013

Proposed changes to distance selling regulations

The government has published draft legislation that will extend the rights of consumers under the Distance Selling Regulations (“DSR”).

Broadly speaking, the DSR apply when businesses sell goods or services to consumers without having first met with them face-to-face. Currently, the DSR give consumers a 7 day “cooling off” period, during which time the consumer can cancel the contract (subject to certain exceptions), even if goods have been delivered and are in perfect working condition. However, if the business has not provided all of the information it is required to provide to the consumer under the DSR, the cooling off period is extended to 3 months.

The proposed changes will see the basic cooling off period extended to 14 days, and if the business does not provide the required information, it will be extended to 12 months. It will therefore be more important than ever that businesses ensure their terms and conditions comply with the DSR, to avoid giving customers a 12 month period in which to return non-faulty goods or cancel payments for services.

The draft legislation is part of wider government reforms to consumer rights and protections. These reforms, if carried through, will see consumers given greater rights in cases of doorstep selling and in cases where consumers are subject to misleading and aggressive selling practices. The government has also published a draft bill that seeks to consolidate much of UK consumer law into one piece of legislation, which should be helpful to consumers and businesses alike.

Businesses who deal regularly with consumers will need to keep abreast of the changes to ensure that their practices and documentation comply with the new rules when they come into force.

If you need any further advice about this subject, please contact Andrew Cooper on 01284 717511 or andrewcooper@greene-greene.com .

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