Many businesses have simply uploaded offline terms and conditions to their websites but often this is not good enough. Retailers should take the time to review their online terms and conditions to ensure their websites are compliant and up to date with the latest Consumer Protection Law, Distance Selling Regulations and Cookies Policy in order to avoid potential problems and make sure that their interests are properly represented.
The OFT has written to all of those concerned to say that if they do not bring their websites into line with the law they could be taken to court and face fines.
Kim Walker, a Partner on the retail and technology teams at leading law firm Thomas Eggar, offers her top 10 tips for retailers on how to comply with this legislation:
- Provide an email address rather than simply a ‘web contact form’ so that customers can contact you directly
- Give your full geographical address, not just a PO Box number
- Make available a description of the main characteristics of the goods and/or services
- Specify the methods by which a customer can make payment
- Show the final price of goods and/or services upfront, including all taxes
- Make the delivery cost and arrangement information easy to access
- Inform the customer about their right to cancel any order placed at a distance
- Explain the return process. You cannot insist the customer returns the goods in their original packaging as this could be in breach of their right to inspect the goods
- Detail the refund arrangements