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Consumer protection law and the internet

PLEASE NOTE: Information in this article is correct at the time of publication, please contact DFA Law for current advice on older articles.

The OFT recently conducted a pre-Christmas review of 156 retailer websites, and found that many of them may not be complying fully with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 and the Electronic Commerce (EC Directive) Regulations 2002.

Key failures included imposing unreasonable restrictions on customers’ rights to a refund and failing to provide an e-mail contact address (a web contact form is insufficient). Businesses that sell goods to consumers over the internet should review their online terms and conditions to make sure they comply with consumer protection law.

Our checklist outlines the remedies available to consumers when buying faulty goods. It highlights the additional obligations businesses owe to consumers when selling their goods online, including the right for consumers to cancel most orders for any reason.

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