What is the Consumer Rights Directive?
The Consumer Rights Directive is a European Directive that the member states need to implement into their national laws. In the UK as well as in most other member States the new regulations enter into force on 13th June 2014. It contains a number of regulations for online trading that are intended, above all, to strengthen the rights of consumers when shopping online. Furthermore, the directive aims to bring into line the laws of the EU member states. For example, regulations apply to the right to cancel and the seller’s duty to inform. If you do not comply with the new regulations in your shop after 13th June, you are liable for this and run the risk of facing legal consequences. It is therefore very important that you inform yourself and your customers about the new legal stipulations and implement them in your shop.
Where can I find detailed information about the Consumer Rights Directive?
Our partner Trusted Shops has published a white paper answering questions concerning the new law. You can download the white paper on the Trusted Shops website free of charge.
Which are some of the areas which are covered by the new law?
The law includes for instance the following new aspects:
- If a customer wishes to use their right to cancel, they must inform you of this fact within 14 days.
- There may be different cancellation instructions for different types of goods. For example, the cancellation instructions for goods sent by parcel service are different from those for downloadable products.
- A right to cancel is no longer granted for the consumer for several product groups. These include certain wines, for example.
- In the future, sellers can pass the return costs arising in the event of a cancellation on to the consumer, regardless of the price of the goods.
- In the event of a cancellation the delivery cost needs to be refunded. This however, does not apply to any express delivery cost that the consumer expressly chose. You will have to refund only the delivery cost up to the amount of the standard delivery costs offered in your shop.
- In all countries of the EU, the text of the order button now makes it clear that the customer is entering into a contract with a payment obligation.
Will there be any changes to the ePages shops?
There will be a number of changes in the administration area of your shop before the law enters into force. For example, you can stipulate whether your customers have to confirm that they have read the notes on cancellation when completing an order. You will also be able to offer your customers various cancellation instructions. In all countries of the EU, the text of the order button now makes it clear that the customer is entering into a contract with a payment obligation. All changes were compiled by us in cooperation with Trusted Shops. We will soon be presenting the new aspects in our own series of articles here in the blog.
Further articles on this topic
While this article contains initial legal information, it makes no claim to completeness or accuracy. It may not under any circumstances replace legal advice in individual cases.