EU Consumer Rights Directive 2014; 10 things your online shop needs

EU

1. Supplier Information

The full legal trading name, address, telephone number and email address must be clear and available on your site. If you are acting on behalf of another trader then you should supply this trader’s information too.

It is also necessary to have an address where a consumer should address complaints.

Action: Check supplier information is clearly displayed on a page such as Terms & Conditions.

2. Product Information

Make clear the main characteristics of all products and services, this information must be available to the customer before placing an order.

If you’re selling digital content, you should include information on compatibility with hardware/software.

Action: Ensure all product pages have main characteristics of the product, and the correct information for each product is displayed on the order summary page.

3. Clear Information on Prices & Costs

All costs, including potential costs that may occur, must be made clear before a customer places an order. If no firm cost can be displayed it must be made clear how this cost is calculated.

Costs to be displayed include product/service costs, all delivery costs and the cost of returning goods (see point 10 for further detail on returns).

Action: Review pricing transparency and where it is displayed on your website, if it is not transparent the consumer will have the right to a refund.

4. Delivery & Payment Information

All information about arrangements for payment, payment methods, delivery options, delivery restrictions and the time a trader undertakes to deliver the goods or perform a service should be clear and available to the consumer before placing an order.

Action: Check all delivery and payment information is accurate and clearly displayed on the appropriate page such as Terms & Conditions or a Delivery & Payment page.

5. Obligation to Pay Button

The button which consumers click to accept their liability to pay should make clear their obligation to pay, this means a button that says “click here” or “continue” is not sufficient when a customer is buying from you.

Action: Check the clarity of your calls to action.

6. No Additional Costs

There are three elements to this:

  • Surcharges for paying by credit cards are no longer allowed.
  • Premium rate customer phone lines are no longer allowed, customers must be able to call you on a standard rate phone line.
  • Additional payments/costs are not to be default options i.e. the consumer must actively opt-in to the additional costs.

Action: Credit card surcharges and premium rate customer phone lines should have been amended/converted by 6th April 2014. Review all additional cost options and edit as appropriate.

7. Order Confirmation on “Durable Material” within Reasonable Time

A durable medium includes email, letter and text. The content of the order confirmation must be of a format that is unchangeable by the consumer and sent to the consumer no later than the delivery of the goods. The burden of proof that the order confirmation was sent lies with the trader, so it is the trader’s responsibility to ensure records are kept.

Action: Review the method and content of order confirmation.

8. Right to Cancel Information & Procedure

Consumers now have 14 days (increase from 7 days) in which to cancel the sales contract. Customers must be informed of this time limit and cancellation procedures, failure to do so can result in the “cooling off” period being extended to 12 months.

Action: Review and update your Terms & Conditions/Returns pages as appropriate.

9. Downloadable Cancellation Form

Your e-commerce site must now have a form easily accessible and downloadable that the consumer can use to initiate returns/cancel the sales contract. The consumer is not obliged to use this form but you must provide one.

Action: Provide a downloadable form at the appropriate place on your website.

10. Returns Information & Refund Procedure

There are two elements to this:

  • Refunds must be made by the trader within 14 days of receiving the returned goods or receiving proof that the goods have been returned. The refund must include the cost of the outbound delivery.
  • At the time of purchase the customer must be informed who is responsible for the cost of returning the goods in case of cancellation. If it will be the customer that will bear the cost of returning the goods then this must be made clear and an estimate of cost must be provided.

Action: Review all returns and refunds information. Ensure clear messaging at checkout/order summary stage as to who is responsible for cost of returns, and if it is the customer add an estimate of cost.

We can provide your site with an EU compliance audit and give you a quote to make the required changes, email enquiries@ecommercefactory.co.uk or telephone 01620 297022 for further information.