Shopping Online

Your Rights - and what to look out for

The rights provided by European legislation (E-commerce and Distance Selling Directives) are the minimum level of protection you can expect from all across the EU. If the web trader is based within the EU, their website is expected to provide you with all the information about what it is you want to buy, and their contact details should be easily available for you to find.  


You have the right to expect a 7 day cooling off period in most online transactions. This 7 day cooling off period will begin the day after the goods are delivered and means that the item you have ordered can be sent back for any reason -  unlike when you buy from a shop you cannot take an item back if you have changed your mind. When returning the goods you will have to pay the return postage costs and then the trader must provide a refund to you within 30 days.


When you place an order you are normally given an indication of when the item will be delivered. The goods should be delivered within 30 days of placing the order, unless you have agreed on an alternative delivery date. If it takes longer than 30 days for your goods to be delivered, you will be entitled to cancel the order and the trader will need to issue you with a refund within 30 days (unless of course you have agreed on a longer delivery time).


When shopping online it is always important to know who you are dealing with and just because a website has a address does not automatically mean the trader is based in the UK. When you are using a trader’s website try looking for their address before completing your order, it may not be in the ‘Contact us page’ but possibly in their ‘Terms and conditions’. If the address is difficult to find ask yourself why, what is the trader trying to hide?


Often when you are completing your online order you are asked to acknowledge that you have read through and understand their terms and conditions, normally by the ticking of a box. Many people just tick this box and move on - don’t! Open up the terms and conditions, have a look through them, if there is something you’re not happy with or do not understand, seek further advice or clarification.


This information is intended as guidance, to provide an idea of what protection there is available for you as a consumer when shopping on line. If you do happen to find yourself in dispute with a web trader or want to know more, please get in touch with us!



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