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Delivery of goods

From online shopping to catalogue orders, it is often necessary for the trader to offer deliver of the goods as part of the service they provide.

When at a distance you do have rights. The Distance Selling Regulations 2000 cover goods or services sold without face-to-face contact.

The regulations cover shopping by the following means:

•    Internet
•    Television
•    Mail order, including catalogue shopping
•    Phone and fax

The regulations state that:

•    You must be given clear information about the goods or services before you buy,
•    Goods must be delivered within thirty days unless agreed otherwise
•    There is a ‘cooling off period’ where you can cancel the contract to buy for any reason

The cooling off period begins as soon as an order has been made. For goods (such as books or electrical items) it ends seven working days after the day you get the items.

The cooling off period and right to cancel do not cover contracts for:

•    Goods made to the your specification (custom-made/personalised)
•    Perishable goods (flowers, fresh food)
•    CDs, DVDs, and tapes for software, audio or video if they are unsealed (have no packaging)
•    Newspapers and magazines
•    Betting, gaming and lotteries

For services (such as mobile phone contracts), it ends seven working days after the day the order was made. If you agree to the service beginning within the seven days, your right to cancel ends when the service starts.

Usual rules that apply to shopping  in store also apply to distance selling. So adverts and descriptions must not be misleading and goods must be:

•    Of satisfactory quality
•    Fit for purpose, meaning they can do the job they were made for

Under the Services Directive there are basic requirements for service providers. These enable consumers to have access to certain pre-contractual information and also concerns discrimination by traders against nationality or place of residence. For more information see 'What can consumers expect'.

In each of the EU member states the criteria may be different so feel free to contact us for further information or choose from the drop down menu below.

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Funded by BIS

The European Consumer Centre for Services is hosted by the Trading Standards Institute and funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.