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When can a consumer cancel an online contract?

online shopping

With regards to products being purchased online the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (CCR’s) shows that consumers should be given extra protection. This is because they will not have the opportunity to inspect the goods until they receive them, in contrast to when a consumer shops on the high street in physical stores.

When it applies, the cancellation period in the United Kingdom is fourteen days, also known as the cooling off period. However, when this period starts to run from depends on whether goods, services, or digital content is being sold.

If goods are being supplied, the cancellation period ends fourteen days after the day the goods arrived, (The day the consumer came into physical possession of them).

If services or digital content is being supplied in a manner that is not on a tangible medium, the cancellation period ends fourteen days after day that the contract was entered into.

If a trader fails to provide the consumer with information regarding their cancellation rights prior to entering into a contract, the cancellation period will be extended to twelve months on top of the original fourteen-day period. Failing to provide cancellation information can also amount to a criminal offence which is subject to a fine.

There are some exclusions to the right to cancel such as with the supply of perishable goods like fresh food or fresh flowers. Other exclusions include goods which are made to the consumers specifications or are clearly personalised.

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