Consumers gained important new rights when the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 became law on 13 June 2014. The Regulations implemented an EU Directive (2011/83/EU) to standardise trading rules across the EU and encourage consumer confidence and cross-border trade. The Regulations replace the Distance Selling Regulations for online contracts. The Regulations apply to contracts between 'Traders' (who act in the course of trade or business) and 'Consumers' (people acting for purposes outside trade or business). The Regulations put legal obligations on traders to supply information and give consumers extended rights in relation to cancellation. The Regulations distinguish between three types of contract:
- 'on-premises' - usually where trader and consumer are present at the trader's place of business;
- 'off-premises' - usually where trader and consumer are present at a place other than the trader's place of business; and
- 'distance' - online, mail order and telesales contracts.
- the main characteristics of the goods or services;
- the identity of the trader, including address, phone number and email to enable the consumer to contact the trader quickly;
- the total price of the goods or services inclusive of taxes and all additional delivery charges and other costs;
- arrangements for payment, delivery, performance, and the time when the goods will be delivered or the services performed;
- information about rights to cancel the contract
- a reminder of the duty to supply goods that conform with the contract; and
- the availability after-sales support.
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