Distance Selling Regulations


Regulations would change the way people buy things for the better. For online marketing, it gave people the feeling of security they needed when shopping online.

Every day, millions of people do some kind of online transaction. Whether you buy your purchases at the local supermarket or use the ever popular auction sites such as eBay and Amazon. You can literally buy anything and everything at the click of a mouse.

But what about the risks of fraud? How are we protected when we buy?

Pre-sales information

Under the regulations, you have the right to receive complete information about the product or service that you buy before making the decision to buy. So, if you are an ecommerce site, it makes sense, in order to comply with these rules, to include information such as the product, what it does and what exactly comes with the product or the service that you sell.

Written confirmation

The consumer has the right to receive this information in writing before the sale. Basically, to comply with this regulation, all you need to do after receiving contact from a potential consumer is to provide him with a written confirmation of the potential sale by making sure that the basic information such as your name, your address, details of their right of withdrawal, cancellation terms and the after-sales process are all included. Beware if this information does not exist, the contract is not binding and you, the seller, are not protected.

Period of cancellation

As a general rule, when you sell a product online, you must give the customer a 7-day cooling-off period. This is called the period of reflection and the consumer MUST be aware of it. Otherwise, as mentioned in the previous point, the contract is not legally binding and you break the rules.

Payment card protection

One of the scariest things about buying goods or products online is what happens when you use a payment card. The Consumer Protection Regulations 2000 has taken steps to give the consumer the guarantee that he can buy safely and that, if a fraudulent activity took place, the consumer would have the right to cancel any payment without notice. This regulation covers all types of payment cards and not just credit cards.

What the regulation does not apply

Although the regulations cover a large group of people and consumers, they do not apply to everyone or to all situations. If you make a sale between companies, you are not covered by these regulations.

Other services and sales that are not covered by these regulations include remotely sold financial services, the sale of land and auctions assisted by auctioneers. These other examples are covered by other laws.

What are the penalties that make this regulation difficult for offenders?

Anyone who violates a regulation on distance selling can be sued by the consumer who has suffered. It is therefore a good idea to comply to avoid harming the company's reputation and the serious financial implications of it.


The points above are just an overview of the rules that have been put in place to protect the consumer from questionable online transactions and left them out. Although these regulations have been put in place primarily to protect the consumer, some parts of the regulations provide protection to the seller. For example, if the products sold are sealed on delivery and the consumer opens them, this automatically removes the warranty of a cancellation within 30 days of the contract. The same goes for goods specified for the consumer and in most cases a transport service.

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