distance selling

distance selling

selling goods at a distance, as opposed to over the counter, and now the subject of definition and regulation. The rules apply to contracts for goods or services to be supplied to a consumer where the contract is made exclusively by means of distance communication, that is any means used without the simultaneous physical presence of the consumer and the supplier including, for example, electronic mail. They do not apply to certain specified contracts such as contracts relating to the supply of financial services. They have only limited application to contracts for the supply of groceries by regular delivery and contracts for the provision of accommodation, transport, catering or leisure services.

The regulations require the supplier to provide the consumer with certain information prior to the conclusion of the contract. This information includes information on the right to cancel the distance contract, the main characteristics of the goods or services, and delivery costs. The supplier must inform the consumer prior to conclusion of a contract for services that he will not be able to cancel once performance of the service has begun with his agreement.

Where the Regulations apply, they provide a COOLING-OFF PERIOD to enable the consumer to cancel the contract by giving notice of cancellation to the supplier. The effect of giving notice of cancellation under the Regulations is that the contract is treated as if it had not been made. The Regulations provide that where the consumer's payment card is used fraudulently in connection with a distance contract the consumer will be entitled to cancel the payment. If the payment has already been made the consumer will be entitled to a re-credit or to have all sums returned by the card issuer.

References in periodicals archive ?
Ms Lowe said the new laws follow last year's distance selling regulations which allow consumers to cancel contracts after terms have been agreed.
The Warwickshire Trading Standards Service, based in Warwick, will be responsible for enforcing the Distance Selling Regulations which come into effect on October 31.
The sweep looked for potential breaches of the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) and other consumer protection laws and is part of the OFT's ongoing work to ensure that consumers can shop confidently online.
The European distance selling lobby has accused MEPs of creating legal uncertainty in the way they have amended the draft 'Rome II' Regulation, which says whose law applies in cross-border non-contractual civil law disputes.
'The new rules on marketing to consumers by e-mail, fax, mail order (distance selling) are also caught,' said Ms Lowe.
The distance selling directive comes into force at the end of October.
The report shows that the new EU member states still have an "underdeveloped" distance selling sector, "for reasons such as consumer attitudes, legal environment or income levels".
The comments, from DLA partner Simon Jones, follow a survey by the OFT earlier this year which found that half of all UK websites could be in breach of the Distance Selling Regulations which came into force in 2000.
The draft services directive, under sustained attack in recent months, has been vigorously defended by a coalition of publishing, advertising, communications, distance selling, marketing and sales promotion lobbies.
It means they could face prosecution for breaching Distance Selling Regulations which came into force last October.
EMOTA, the European Mail Order and Distance Selling Trade Association, has urged the European Parliament not to allow governments to introduce more restrictive provisions on cross border trade.
Consumers shopping over the Internet are entitled to protection under the Distance Selling Regulations, which came into force last October.