Is your web-site breaking the law?

Published: 11th June, 2015

This article provides an overview of the law in this area. You should talk to James Sarjantson for a complete understanding of how it may affect your particular circumstances.

Fundamental changes have recently been made to the law governing sales to consumers over the internet. ALL Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-commerce websites must now change their terms and conditions of sale. The key changes brought about by the Consumer Contracts Regulations (CCR) are as follows:

  • Before a customer is bound by an online contract, the trader must make available to the consumer all the detailed information that is listed in Schedule 2 of the CCR, which includes a form that consumers can use to cancel the contract: These are the “information provision” requirements. Special rules apply for mobile applications where screen space is limited.
  • The trader must ensure that the consumer, when placing the order, explicitly acknowledges that he or she is obliged to pay. A click button with the words “pay now” or “buy now” is acceptable, but simply stating “confirm” or “order now” may not be.
  • A confirmation of the contract, including all the information provision requirements, must be sent to the consumer. This information may be sent in an order confirmation email, but cannot simply be “made available” as a link back to the trader’s website.
  • The period within which the consumer can cancel the contract (whether or not the goods are faulty) and obtain a full refund is now extended to 14 days after the day on which they receive the goods. However, if the required information about the right to cancel is not provided or is provided late, that cancellation period can last for up to 12 months.
  • New rules detailing the return process include some trader-friendly provisions such as the right (in certain circumstances) to reduce the value of the refund if the goods show evidence of unreasonable use.
  • Hidden costs, particularly those arising from pre-ticked boxes, are prohibited.

Failure to update your trading terms to reflect these new requirements will not only expose you to being sued by your customers (who in any event are not bound by your non-compliant terms), but also to enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority/Trading Standards.

What you need to do now.

LCF Law are specialists in digital media and e-commerce law. As such, we can make the following offer to all our clients:

  • £450.00 plus VAT for updated terms and conditions*

Call now on 0113 201 0401 or email to arrange a call with the digital media experts at LCF Law today.

*Provided terms were compliant with the law prior to the new legislation coming into force; Price will be £675.00 plus VAT if not.