Saturday, 13 June 2015
First anniversary of the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013
It is exactly a year today – 13th June 2014 – that The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 came into force. These replaced the 2000 Distance Selling Regulations. Generally the rules have been tightened and now include on-premise contracts as well as off-premise contracts (distance selling).
Although it is not at all surprising that the terms and conditions of many of the dubious wine investment companies do not comply with these regulations, it is very surprising and disappointing that a number of the UK's leading wine retailers don't have their terms & conditions properly up to date. They would do well to download the regulations here and see whether their current terms & conditions reflect the 2013 Regulations.
Some of the UK leading wine merchants fail to make any mention of cancellation, others have the period of cancellation wrong while others offer to refund within 30 days whereas refunds should be within 14 days.
It is clearly in the interests of retailers to get their terms and conditions right, especially in respect of cancellation. If the customer is not informed or not properly informed then the normal 14 days right of cancellation from the days after delivery can be extended for a full year ie one year plus 14 days.
Some of the provisions:
Right of cancellation starts from the time a contract is agreed and finishes 14 days the day after delivery. No reason has to be given for cancellation. The notice can be by letter or by email but has to be in a durable form.
Customers have to be properly informed of their cancellation rights – again in a durable form. As a general rule they receive a refund within 14 days. If needing to send goods back the 14 days start from either the time that the retailer receives the goods or the customer provides proof that the goods have been returned.
En primeur sales are exempt from the right of cancellation. The 2013 Regulations clarified the ambiguous position of en primeur under the 2000 Distance Selling Regulations. However, bottled wine ordered at a distance whether considered plonk or fine wine are subject to the right of cancellation irrespective of whether the wine is bought for drinking, investment or for bathing your favourite poodle.
In the coming week I will post some examples of companies terms & conditions that do not appear to meet the 2013 Regulations.